I spent most of the day outside working on the yard. I cleaned off the back patio, picked up a bunch of trash that had blown around, did some raking. I've got a few "do a little at a time" projects this spring, including:
A) Mixing my own blend of potting soil, using last year's stock, vermiculite, perlite, compost, manure, peat moss, and a little bit of sand. It's a bit rich, but should retain water pretty well.
B) Grading the area around the patio down a few inches to fix the drainage problem. This will be tricky and take lots of fine-tuning. It will also take a lot of back-breaking work. The dirt I will use to
C) Fill the new 4'X4' raised beds I'm introducing to the garden this year. One will be for flowers and the other for veggies. Both are built and in place, but are in need of dirt. The fill I'm using is of poor quality, so they will also need amending.
I'm going to experiment with the "square foot method" this year, so one of those beds will be divided somewhat like this: