I’ve never been very good at gardening. I’ve pretty much killed every plant I’ve tried to grow, except for the little Christmas Cactus that’s sitting in my window. Still, the frugal part of me has always wanted to grow a vegetable garden.
Vegetable gardening appeals to me, because I can grow my own organic vegetables for less money than it would cost to buy them. At least that would be the result if I could succeed in keeping my vegetable plants alive.
Two years ago I read the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. If you’ve never heard of Square Foot Gardening, it’s a space-saving gardening method. Mel makes it sound so easy. But I was still scared to try. Until last week.
Last week I read about how Frugal Dad built a square foot garden, and he made it sound so easy! My competitive nature kicked in, and I decided if he could build a garden bed, surely I could too.
Saturday presented the perfect day to do this project. My husband and daughter were gone for the weekend, it was sunny outside, and I had a whole day to get this project done. I knew my son would be easily entertained. He likes to help build anything.
We headed off to Home Depot to pick up our supplies. We bought
All I can say is thank goodness the Home Depot cuts the boards down for you, or we would have been in big trouble.
I’m not going to post detailed instructions for building the garden bed, because Frugal Dad explained it so well already. But I thought I’d give you the highlights (or lowlights) of my building project.
Sam and I put the weed blocking fabric down first. Then he hammered in the garden stakes all by himself. So far so good.
Next it was time to assemble our garden box. We lined up the boards at right angles. Sam held one of the boards, while I attempted to screw them together using my electric screwdriver/drill and one of the wood screws. The screw went halfway in, and then the drill started making horrible noises. I’d stripped the screw. That thing wasn’t going to go in or out. I even tried a pliers. Nothing. So off to Walmart we went to buy more screws. Being the frugal person I am, I only bought enough screws for the project at Home Depot.
Once we were back home, I decided it might be beneficial to drill a pilot hole first. I guestimated which size drill bit to use and drilled a hole. Then I tried screw #2.
Halfway in, I got the same weird noise from the drill. I guess the pilot hole was too small. So I drilled a bigger pilot hole. The third screw was the charm, and the rest of the box came together without too many problems. And I’m happy to report Sam didn’t learn any new words from me, as this project unfolded.
We moved the garden box to it’s permanent home, filled the box with soil.
Marked off the squares with nylon string.
We haven’t planted anything yet, because we are still getting frost in the mornings. Soon though.
All in all it was an interesting day. I learned several things.
We’re looking forward to eating out of our garden this year. We have seeds for lettuce, scallions, squash, green beans, carrots, basil, cilantro, and marigolds (for pest control). I’ll also plant some tomatoes, because I love fresh, home grown tomatoes.
I promise to update on our garden throughout the spring and summer. Hopefully I’ll be able to report a bountiful harvest!
Do you garden? What do you grow? Have you started preparing your garden yet?
Photo credit: thelazydba
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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