Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Re-Vamping the Garden

My garden was weeping the winter as I had some leftover plants from the fall still in place. Too bad I was so busy and didn't feel like cleaning out the furrows of plantings from last year. This is bad. Really Really Bad!

I have been reading and researching for several months a better way for gardening year round here in Florida. I have decided on raised planting. No weeds, YEAH! No roto-tilling, Yeah! No backbreaking hours of pulling weeds, Yeah!

I purchased four 2" x 6" x 16" sections of grade two lumber at Home Depot here off Mary Ester Cutoff. Each cost about $6.50. The guys are always so helpful. They chopped them into 4-foot sections. That was great! I didn't have to pull out "Bessie" the big compound saw. Wahoo... Then I picked up a box of 3" deck screws for about $8.00. F.Y.I.-There is a box or bin of cull lumber usually cut to 4' lengths for about $1.00 a piece. So potentially you could build a box for about $4.00 if they have your size of lumber.

I rushed home and staggered the end joints and pre-drilled two holes in each end. Then put two screws in each end joint. This makes the boxes really easy to put together. I had some linseed oil that was rubbed into the wood. I placed two coats on the outside of each box.

Then I dropped by Sam's Club to pick up a roll of Preen Landscape Fabric. I have used it for years and Sam's Club is the cheapest place in town. It is a seasonal item here. I can purchase a 4' x 125' roll for about $18.00. So this perfectly fits the box. I just drape it in the box and staple it around the top to hold it in place. If you want a second layer you can drape in the opposite direction and staple it around the top of the box. One layer is about $.75 and two layers would be $1.50.

Next I placed them in the backyard. I have an existing garden plot that I just amended the soil. So I didn't have to purchase any compost or topsoil for the boxes. If you needed to fill them I would mix 2 cu ft of pearlite or vermiculite if it is available to you, 3 cu ft peat moss, 3 cu ft of mixed compost. You won't need topsoil. If you are having a hard time finding these items you can purchase 3 cubic foot bags of Jungle Growth Vegetable and Fruit Growing Mixture. This will produce spectacular vegetation. Each bag is around $9.00. You will need 3 to 4 bags.

Each box cost me about $9.00. This is a manageable price for anyone on a small budget. If you needed to add growing mix to the box it would cost you about $36.00. Still not a bad price for all the food you will produce.

In this area I will produce over $450.00 of herbs and vegetables.