Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Raised Garden Project

I decided to do a garden as a fun project and stress reducer for the Spring and Summer. A "Raised Garden Project" will be a series where I hope you can monitor my progress  and learn from my mistakes on the adventure. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

The whole idea of a raised garden came from a photo I encountered on Pinterest. It really gave me a lot of ideas and as usual I started to research the concept. Good thing I did. I discovered that cedar is the best wood to withstand the weather as well as termites here in Florida.

I was able to cut costs by buying cedar posts and breaking apart an old cedar chest my brother gave me.

While breaking apart the cedar chest was work, it definitely was worth it because using purchased cedar would have cost me over $200 for one box. With my cost savings I was able to afford TWO boxes for $14. Yeah!!!

Planning was very important so I did my calculations and then laid the boards out just to make certain what the numbers said matched what occurred in real life. It did, and my little Doxie double checked.

And there we have it, the completed box ready to be set into the ground. Everything I read said to dig  holes for the posts, but I figured it would be simpler to just dig around the posts to get them into the ground and it seemed to work well for me.  You'll notice that my Doxie assistant is still supervising but sitting in the shade.

One thing I learned during my research was that cedar while untreated has it's own natural herbicide so I put in a plastic liner around tthe inside of the box to prevent contact with the soil. In some of the illustrations I saw, people put down cardboard on the bottom but I didn't. It was simply the bear ground. Next, I saved grass cuttings and tree leaves and used that as the bottom over the bare ground to build up the bottom level in preparation for putting in dirt. If you look closely you'll also notice I used the narrow spine boards as a lip for the box so later when I'm tending the garden I can set things like water buckets, shears etc on it and avoid having to rub against the top portion of the box when working. Sweeet!!

And here we have the completed project. I plan to add a little more dirt but was surprised that I already had almost six inches of dirt in before you reached the grass cuttings and leaves. Each box is 8ft by 4ft so a few more bags should put me close to that level. My savings on wood was eaten up with the cost of dirt ($15) but my total cost so far is $30 which is not bad. Before I fill the next box I plan to do a little searching around for free dirt but if I can't find any then add another $15 and a new total of $45. Either way the cost is still low when you consider all the veggies I plan to have for the Summer.

Next installment: Growing plants from seeds

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