Dirt Cheap?!

>> 3.09.2010

You asked for it! Here's a peek at my house:
I know, the exterior leaves a lot to be desired!!

We have big plans for this space though! Imagine a thick carpet of green grass, matching furniture, tree trimming, and a little color added here and there with flowers. Oh, and also imagine a garden box! It was Nate's big weekend project...

Here he is putting that Christmas gift (circular saw) to use again!

Lowe's did a good bit of the cutting for us... we had a 16-foot plank (of six inch pressure treated lumber) cut into 4-foot sections and two 12-foot planks cut into 6-foot sections.

Here you can see the extra inches left on the 4x4's so that they can support the box from inside the ground.

With the help of a carpenter's square and a flat surface, Nate created a perfect 4 ft x 6 ft box.

After setting the box into the pre-dug holes, Nate used a staple gun to secure the weedgaurd fabric to the base.

Okay, so maybe dirt is cheap... but soil is not! Filling this 4 ft x 6 ft space cost about $70! Nate tried to save a little by filling most of the box with the cheap(er) soil and topping it with the good stuff.

Budget Breakdown:
Soil (the cheap stuff)- $45 (estimate)
Soil (the good stuff)- $23 (est.)
Weedfree fabric- $13.33
Lumber- $26.96
Screws and tools- $0 (had on hand from other projects)
Seeds and plants- $20 (est.)
Total= $128.29

Before you ask: Yes, there is walking space between the side of the house and the garden box. Yes, that is the area of the yard with the most sunlight.

We're total gardening rookies over here so if you have any tips on gardening on the cheap, just let me know! Where do you find the best prices on soil and plants?

PS I worked on a big project of my own this weekend... come back tomorrow for the details. (hint: I got to play with power tools too!)

17 comments:

Babs March 9, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

Soil can definitely be expensive, but if you keep a compost pan (or even egg shells and coffee grinds in a plastic tub) that'll help give so many nutrients to the soil so it won't matter as much that you got "cheap" stuff. Best of luck with your garden!

Danielle and Clint March 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM  

Compost is a garden's best friend! My garden grew like no other last year! Nate did a great job, once again!

Danielle and Clint March 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM  

Compost is a garden's best friend! My garden grew like no other last year! Nate did a great job, once again!

Heather @ McKinney Living March 9, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

Ahhh you are inspiring me to really get on the gardening train this Spring. I've been wanting to, but last year was just TOO crazy with moving! Can't wait see to see how this baby works for you two!

Melissa March 9, 2010 at 11:40 AM  

You might want to re-think using pressure treated lumber in a bed that will supply food. It is full of arsenic and can leach into the soil where it will be taken up by the veg. Cedar is a better choice.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog March 9, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

@Melissa~ Thanks for looking out for us! We've looked into this issue and read up on the risks (in articles like this one: http://www.finegardening.com/design/articles/pressure-treated-wood-in-beds.aspx and this one: http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/are-pressure-treated-woods-safe-in-garden-beds.aspx ) and feel like the ACQ wood we went with will be low risk enough to work for us. From research, this risk of chemicals getting into the soil is low and the risk that we will eat veggies with chemicals is almost nonexistent.

The Brick Cottage March 9, 2010 at 12:45 PM  

It looks good! My husband built a raised bed for me last year. Unfortunately I don't have any tips to pass on as I didn't have much success (turns out our neighbor's tree gets HUGE in the summer shading the box that was in full sunlight during the spring). I'm going to second Danielle's suggestion for composting--if you can do it all year you won't have to buy much soil for next year. Good luck with your garden!

chacha March 9, 2010 at 4:24 PM  

What are you going to plant in there?

Veggies?

Planting beds are on my to do list as well. I want to grow some veggies - we have perfect weather in southern California for it. I have a butt-load of compost but nothing, really, to use it on.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog March 9, 2010 at 4:27 PM  

@chacha~ Nate picked some random veggies that Google said would grow in our area of Texas.

If you're thinking about building a garden, I'd go for it. Nate really only spent about 4ish hours of working time on the project (thanks to Lowes for cutting most of the pieces).

Jenny @ Anything Pretty March 9, 2010 at 5:17 PM  

We built raised beds last year when I was a total garden rookie and they worked incredibly well. We built three large ones so we had a large amount of enriched topsoil delivered (along with even more gravel for other garden projects) and it was not too expensive. I bought a great book "Vegetable Gardening in (state)" and it really helped me figure out what to grow and when.

Christie, Describe Happy March 9, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

Very cool project! I am just itching to get my hands in the dirt (the ground is still frozen and snow covered here). Let's see. Tips for veggie gardens on the cheap? Splurging on herbs is always worth while for me. It's so fun and inspirational to cook with fresh herbs. And maybe learn to freeze, can, or dry your extras? Oh... you can also find other folks who garden in your neighborhood... if you have extra tomatoes let's say.. you can trade them for what extra's your neighbor has. Happy gardening!

Amanda @ Serenity Now March 9, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

You and me both, sister. ;) I want my yard to be a lush oasis, but it looks like a barren wasteland. ;)

Thanks for the comment...I was glad that my "manifesto" was well-received. ;)

dolores @ Welcome to My Humble Ablog March 9, 2010 at 9:14 PM  

I'm garden rookie too but I've found that my Sunset Western Garden book is a total lifesaver! It tells me everything I need to know.

Mrs. Chic March 10, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

You have a great space to work with - I love garden boxes much easyier to keep weed free

Christina March 14, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

If it's not too late, Southern Living Mag says to stagger your planting (especially for tomatoes) so each tomato plant peaks at different times and you have fresh ripe veggies longer in the season!

Christina March 14, 2010 at 6:12 PM  

If it's not too late, Southern Living Mag says to stagger your planting (especially for tomatoes) so each tomato plant peaks at different times and you have fresh ripe veggies longer in the season!

Post a Comment

I love reading your thoughts and ideas! Keep them coming!!

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP