Posts Tagged 'vegetable garden'

Herbs down, veggies to go.

Container Garden, part 2 of 2.

Little toes and little plants.

After an unusual high amount of rain, and some changes in my work schedule, I finally found time to finish my 2nd container garden.  The herbs are doing well in the trough.  Now, to move on to growing veggies.

I spent some time walking the halls of Lowes, and they had this nifty little plastic, snap in to place, pre formulated raised garden.  For $40.  For a 46″ square, by 8 inch container.  Really?  I am by no means a carpenter, but I figure I can make something bigger, and better for cheaper.  The back of the prefab showed how you could make clever designs if you bought additional sets.  If I wanted something 9 inches tall and 8 feet long, I needed to spend $160 on their crappy sets.  That wasn’t happening.

I wandered down to the lumber section and found some “premium white wood boards.”  I picked up 4 8’x9″x1″ planks, and a 2″x2″x8′.  I also grabbed a gallon of water seal, and some brushes.  The nice thing about Lowes and The Depot is that they’ll cut any board you buy twice for free.  Seeing as how I wanted a 4×8, I had them cut 2 of the boards right down the middle.  That save me a lot of measuring and cutting time later.

I started by water sealing all the wood.  Then, on to building.

My design was pretty simple.  Cut the 2×2 into foot long sections, use them as the corners, and screw the boards on to them.

Outside corner.

inside corner.

I made the posts a little taller than the boards for a few reasons.  1st, I can staple a net over the top of the whole garden if birds become an issue.  I can lash trellis material to them if I need to.  It made it look a little more decorative.  I can add a “2nd story” to it if I want to add some height for visual effect, or for deep rooted plants.  And, most importantly, you can’t tell if one is a 1/4 inch longer than the other, cause they aren’t next to each other.

I put another board in the middle of the container to add some structural support, and to allow me to tend to one half of the garden at a time or to segregate aggressive growers (like mint).

New garden. You can see the trough herb garden in the back.

I shoveled the rock back from the yard, and loosened the soil up a bit.  I dropped the new container in to place and tried to get it as level as possible.

I dropped a trellis in, for cucumbers and beans, and filled half the container with garden soil and composted mulch.  Near equal parts.  I didn’t want to go back to buy more soil, which is why I split the garden in half to begin with.  I’ll get to the other half in the coming weeks.

I bought this little prefab trellis.  but I’m starting to think about lashing bailing wire between the two brown posts that support the covered patio.  That way, i wouldn’t be limited by height.  I’ll get back to that.

Trellis

I got some fill dirt, and mixed it in with the soil.  Again, about equal parts dirt, soil, and mulch.  That was my magic recipe in the last garden, and I can’t argue wit the results.  X-man helped me mix it all together.

Kids are good at anything that involves dirt.

Then we started planting.  X-man but in some corn and carrot seeds.

Hopefully we'll reep what we sow.

X-Man catches me planting.

Zucchini, Crook Neck Squash, Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, Poblanos, Cucumbers, and String Beans.

Future dinner.

And now, we wait.

I’ll get to the other half here pretty soon.  I’d like to do some leafy greens, but I think I missed my season.  I might go for strawberries, or maybe some easy flowers for the kids to enjoy.

This was not a complex design, nor was it a complex project.  I wasn’t looking for an architectural award.  I was looking for an economic way to grow veggies to feed my family.  Total bill from Lowe’s was under $50, with the seal and brushes.  All I needed at home was a circular saw, a drill, and a handful of screws that I already had.  I think this container will last a long time.  I’ll update any modifications I make to it.

Time to make my kitchen more self sustaining.

Container Garden, part 1 of 2.

Ever since leaving Maricopa, I am resentful about not having my herb garden. In Copa-town, I had the most beautiful basil plants ever. It started as two, that grew to be over 2 feet in diameter. Those two seeded and grew about a dozen the next year. Those dozen turned into 30. And by year four, I was thinning, re-potting, and giving away more than 30 plants to friends, just so mine would have ample room to grow. I would literally harvest pounds of basil leaves 2-3 times a year. It was amazing. Then we moved….to a yard that has 2 citrus trees and a lot of 1/2 inch granite.

I couldn’t take it anymore. The other day I needed fresh basil, and I had to pay $2 for a little 3oz package at the store. Despicable. I told Dess we needed make a container garden. One for herbs, because I love cooking with fresh herbs. And one for vegetables. Because beyond fresh veggies in your yard, you also have the option of canning them. I’d love to get to the point where I am growing and canning more than 50% of the veggies we eat.

So weekend we began. The Reverend Lovejoy was kind enough to donate some water troughs from his homestead to my cause.

The larger one is about 6 1/2′ t in diameter, and the smaller is 3′. Once I got home, I realized the logistics of filling the larger one with dirt (Pi)(r2)(height) was more than I wanted to do this weekend. I chose to start with the smaller one.

We went to the Depot, and bought some potting soil, mulch, a couple flats of herbs and veg starters, and some seeds.

The troughs were higher than I anticipated when I asked for them. Filling them with premium potting soil would have broken the bank. So I started with some fill dirt from a field down the street.

Topped it off with an even mix of top soil and composted mulch. put the little starters in there and watered thoroughly.

Clockwise from the top:
Dill, Cilantro, Rosemary, Basil, Jalapeno Pepper, Taragon, Oregano, and Parsley. Lemon Thyme, and Tabasco Peppers in the middle.

We also got three varieties of tomatoes and put them in pots. Pink Ladies, Rome, and Bonnie Grape.

And now we wait…….

I’m building a second raised planter out of premium white wood shortly. I need to wait for the rain to subside, which doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon.


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