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Building the Garden

My family moved into a new home in December and we now had 0.4 acres of mostly open land (weeds) to play with. I had recently started talking to my cousin and aunt who live in Washington and they were talking about getting ready to start their gardens for the season and of course now I wanted to start a garden too.


I am a stay at home mom and the STAY AT HOME aspect of it all was really getting to me and I was definitely feeling the baby blues and thought this would be a great way to get outside even if it was just right outside my door. I had no idea how much gardening would help me feel better as a person and mom.

The first step was picking a spot for the garden, which was easy since this was the only open flat spot on our property. SEE BELOW.




Now to get back on track to the BUILDING. I did so much research on how to build the perfect garden bed and space etc. and listened to none of it ( I am pretty stubborn) and said I want five raised garden beds that are 5' x 3'. There was honestly no rhyme or reason for the sizing....I didn't even go outside and measure to make sure it would fit in the garden space I had it just sounded good to me.


My amazingly wonderful husband went to Lowe's and got all of the wood. We went with douglas fir for the beds, it is not as long lasting as some woods but it is cheaper and should still last a few years. Maybe my husband knows I have a tendency to lose interest in hobbies relatively quickly and thought I would quit gardening and didn't want to invest in this garden just yet.


SPECIFIC DETAILS:

We purchased 20-2" x 6" x 8's from Lowe's and had Lowe's cut them for us because we only have an SUV, no truck or saw for that matter.


We also bought five 2" x 3" x 8' cut into 12" sections, we put one in each corner of the beds and also in the middle of the sides. (see photos below)

It took us several weekends to build all of the beds between the rain and baby duties, but we did it....my husband mostly did it...but WE DID IT!


We lined all of the boxes with chicken wire to keep out pesky moles and other vermin that tunnel underground. I am so glad we did this because they got some of my squash plants that I planted directly in the ground.


Now came the hard part, getting rid of the grass in the space I wanted to make the garden. Fun fact about ME, I love shortcuts AKA I'm super lazy. I knew for sure I was not going to pull all of the weeds in the garden space. I did more research on how to have a garden without ever having to weed...unfortunately such a thing does NOT exist BUT there are some shortcuts you can take.

I decided I was going to put cardboard under the beds, leaving all of the current grass and weed nonsense in place, just cutting it short, and I would surround the beds with mulch to cover the exposed cardboard. We had tons of cardboard left over from our move and this was the perfect way to recycle it! The theory is that the cardboard will kill all of the weeds over time and it will also decompose so I am not harming the environment...YAY! Then, I surrounded the beds with mulch to make em look perdy (this turns into a much larger project, where I ended up putting wood chips/mulch down over cardboard in the ENTIRE garden area).



The final step was DIRT, or as the pro gardeners call it SOIL. Apparently you can't just throw any dirt you find into the garden beds UGH more research. After said research I decided I would add regular potting soil, peat moss, and compost from a local green works place. My husband got the soil and peat moss from Lowe's as well as the above mulch. (Fun fact, Lowe's sells bags of 2 cu. ft. of mulch for $2 every so often, so if you are truckless and can't buy bulk like us that is a great time to buy!


My brother very begrudgingly took his truck to the compost spot and got me a yard of poopy, nasty, deliciousness to add to the beds. He do not so kindly help me add it to the beds though, so I got a bucket and got to work.


Man, did it feel good to be done and get to the fun stuff...PLANTING!


Next up, keeping the deer out!

HAPPY GARDENING!

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