It was a grueling few days' work, but the new beds are (just about) finished!
This 5' by 5' bed was easy to dig, but then it required a gazillion bags of compost and top soil to fill up the second layer in the middle (I usually place my raised bed borders low and mix the native soil with compost and some purchased top soil as needed). I wanted to make sure I prepared the bed well for the rhubarb--and I better get lots of pie next year!
That second layer is 3' by 3', which is probably the minimum needed for rhubarb, and I am pressing my luck with the 1' third layer box (in which I intend to place mint to keep it from running amuck, but maybe will plant a few flowers instead).
The bottom layer holds herbs and my beautiful seed-grown Tunisian baklouti peppers from Baker Creek.
I am partitioning the two 3' by 8' beds in half, with both getting half nightshades (tomatoes and eggplant, and some sweet peppers I'll purchase at the farmers' market, plus basil). The Listada di Gandia eggplant, also grown from seed, will remain under row cover until it is past the point of flea beetle susceptibility.
The other halves of both beds will be planted with squash (another Baker Creek variety, lemon) and beans (Limas and Black Eyed Peas from Botanical Interests), but I'll wait a few weeks for warmer weather to seed those, some winter squash, and okra (in another bed).
Next project, irrigation!