Friday, July 18, 2014

Building Garden Boxes

When we bought this house, it didn't come with a garden spot.  I am not a fantastic gardener, but I do love having a garden growing in the summer time.  So, this Spring, I made it my mission to put in a garden and grow something in it.  The lot came with a rocky landscaped spot next to the driveway, and just off the kitchen, so I figured it was as good a spot as any to put some raised beds.  We have crazy wind up here on our hill, so I was trying to find a somewhat sheltered spot to put the garden.  I hoped the house would kind of block the wind and give the garden a chance.  I went to a local fencing supply company and got vinyl fence posts and fence slats to do raised beds.  They were kind enough to cut out the fence posts so that all I had to do was assemble the beds once I got them home.  I just had to move rocks, cut through the landscape fabric underneath, and stick in the posts.

The ground underneath was soft, so it was a pretty easy job to assemble three 4x8' beds.  Getting them level on a sloping lot was probably the trickiest part, but even that wasn't bad.  I figured putting the beds on the rocks would keep out weeds and provide nice walkways between the beds for weeding and maintaining the garden.  Here are the beds assembled, before the dirt was added:

Since some of you may be interested, I spent just under $250 for the three garden boxes.  Not the cheapest way to build them, but I researched and researched and decided that a no maintenance/lasts forever solution was the way I wanted to go for garden areas.  I had vinyl boxes at our last home, loved them, and knew that I wanted them for our home here.

Once I got the boxes built, we went to a local nursery and ordered 3 cubic yards of garden soil.  

Then, I put our kids and the neighbor kids to work transferring dirt from the driveway to the garden boxes.  We had justenough dirt for each box, and probably should have ordered 4 cubic yards of dirt, but we went and bought 3 bags of dirt to top them off and called it good.  

And then I realized that the wind was blowing half the dirt out of the boxes, so I put up a little wind break:  

That seemed to help mitigate the wind a little.  And then the hail came: 

But, miraculously, my little-plants-that-could have seemed to survive the elements.  I even noticed several zucchini growing the other day: 

We started small this year--some zucchini, some banana squash, tomatoes, and a few herbs.  Hopefully next year will be even bigger.  And eventually we'll find a more aesthetic solution for a wind break.  A picket fence maybe?  I'm scouring Pinterest daily for ideas.  

If you are interested in making your own vinyl garden boxes, may I recommend this tutorial.  And may I also recommend skipping Home Depot or Lowes and looking to a local fencing supply company for materials.  It was over 1/3 cheaper for us to go that route.  If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

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