Well, decided to do this the old-fashioned (HARD) way, using my tiller to chop up the sod and dig the bigger bed. First, I had to do some minor surgery to the tiller...
Worked on the tiller all day yesterday, got it running by the end of the day. So, tonight after work, I broke out more toys and set to work!!!
Started by marking off the area with some tomato stakes. The bed is going from that small triangle to a 17x17 foot square (based on the light post being roughly 8.5 feet from the street).
Next, loaded up some tools into the cart, dragged it down with the Husqy, and scalped the grass to really mark off the area to be tilled.
After that, the Troy Bilt Horse tiller came out to play for about an hour! Chewed through all that sod like butter. Set the throttle as low as it would go without stalling while digging, set the tines fairly high, and made multiple passes in opposite directions. After getting the sod chopped, lowered the tines some more, turned 90 degrees, and ran multiple passes in opposite directions. Got down a good 4-6 inches.
BTW, I love carts, served as a rolling tool box, and held all the rocks that I found...
Now, as you can see in the picture, the area where the bed originally was has much darker soil. The area where there was sod is a much lighter color. So, I need to add compost...
Out comes the Craftsman with JB Jr!!! Took me about 45 minutes, but that's because I had to manually load the bucket with a pitchfork (need to replace a switch, I can only lift or curl, depending on where I put the disconnects). I chose dump, and moved at least a dozen loads of composted leaves before running out of daylight. Found an interesting snake in the leaf pile, couldn't get a good pic, though.
Anyway, will be working on this again in a few days. Definitely more grunt work ahead, but this is major progress!!!
2005 Craftsman GS6500 (2010 Kohler Courage): JB Jr, electric sleeve hitch
2003 Husqvarna GTH2548 (2014 Briggs Intek): Craftsman 46-inch snowblower
OTHER (NOTABLE) EQUIPMENT:
2013 Honda HS1332TAS tracked snowblower
American CLS 40TC24-200 Logsplitter (2019 Predator 301)
1997 Troy Bilt Horse PTO: tiller, chipper/shredder
Stihl Kombi KM130R: string trimmer, mini cultivator, bed edger, pole saw
Echo PB751T backpack blower
Husqvarna 350 chainsaw
2003 Craftsman GT5000 (all used up)
2003 Craftsman DLT3000 (all burned up)