Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Case of the Disappearing Money...

Actually, I know exactly where my money's in a little wooden box on my lawn, and it looks suspiciously like dirt.  

AKA...starting up a raised-bed garden is EXPENSIVE!!  

Lol, my initial plan was to start "small" - maybe six 4x4' raised beds on this patch of lawn, with little gravel or mulch pathways between them.

Today I built the first box.  One plus - the wood was free!  I cut it into four-foot lengths, and then ripped it to six inches wide (despite my Dad's muttering about deep roots, my Square Foot Gardening book cheerfully assures me that the veggies will be perfectly happy in six inches of soil).

I would also like to point out the irony of starting this project today - it hit 90 degrees out, and it was sunny.  We seem to have a knack in my family for picking the hottest days to work outside.  See?  My dad and brother were out there too!

(They're building a bunkbed for Niece/Granddaughter #1, because Niece/Granddaughter #3 will be arriving any day, and the only direction left for expansion in the little girls' room is UP!  Niece/Granddaughter #1 is excited at the prospect of being "up in the sky," while #2 apparently believes that she will be giving all her worldly possessions to #3.  And she's happy about it.  Hey, she's a pretty easy-going toddler.  :P )

So Dad, Timothy and I shared the circular saw.  I only sawed into the dirt a little bit before Dad noticed and showed me how to adjust the depth of the cut.  :P

It really is a pretty simple project: wood, landscaping fabric, and corner brackets.  I'm sure there are endless, Pinterest-worthy iterations, but I'm keeping it about as simple as you can get.  Lol, I didn't even use all the screws that came with the corner brackets!  :P

Here's a tip for you: if the day is at all windy, or if you just like to do things the easy way instead of the obtuse way...cut your landscape fabric a few inches larger than you need, and trim it afterward - or find some way to tack down the corners.  I spent several minutes tugging and tucking the fabric under the edges of the box.

Finally, I mixed up the soil - 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite.  That vermiculite's a killer - $21 bucks for a bag - and it ALL went into this little wooden box!  :(

At least it looks pretty:

And I will say, it does end up being a very light, fluffy soil mix, as promised in my trusty-if-overly-cheerful-Square-Foot-Gardening book.  

All in all, the soil mix cost me the better part of $50.  Well.  At least the maintenance costs shouldn't be too bad.  I'm not sure my finances can handle five more boxes, though, so I'll need to scale back my veggie plans.  I'll probably just do one more, so that this one doesn't look so lonely.

Oh well.  The idea is to have Niece #1 help me with this garden, and I'm sure she'll enjoy it even if it's just a couple boxes.

We can always expand next year!  :)

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