Here’s a broader view of the garden! And some helpful information…
We made 2 4’x4′ patio planters using plywood and 6 inch tall boards. I had all the wood cut at the store and just had to bring it home and screw it all together. The total I spent on the wood and screws was approximately $60. I had saved a gift card from my birthday (6 months earlier!!!) to use for making the wood and dirt purchases…so we were fortunate to not have to pay much for the garden out of our own pocket!
I followed the directions in the Square Foot Gardening book to a “T”! I bought 3 huge bags of peat moss (sorry I don’t remember the exact number of cubic feet) for $10 a piece, 2 large pags of perlite ($5 a piece) and 1 bag of lime for ($4). I used the lime to make the dirt near the tomatoes more acidic. I also added in manure that was given to us by a friend, as the fertilizer. So the rough total for the cost of the dirt was $44. I will need to get a bag of mulch and a bale of hay when it comes time to winterize that. So add another $10 for those 2 items…Total $54.
The Seeds and Plants
I started some of the plants by seed and bought other plants already started from the garden center. I bought about $12 worth of seeds (and will use the same seeds again next year, as I did not use them all!) and $25 worth of plants…tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, rosemary, basil and marigold.
The Fencing and Trellises
I did go back to the store to get trellises and the fencing to keep out the pesky animals in our yard (although that chipmunk still likes to hang out and dig holes…he hasn’t done much damage thus far!) The total cost for those items was about $50.
Total Spent on the Garden
We spent out of pocket (-$100 gift card): $101
Most of these costs were one time initial costs…the planters, dirt, fencing, etc. I plan to take care of these items so that we will have them for several years! I think the initial investment is well worth the cost!
A few “shortcuts” that I took when making the garden. I used masking tape to divide off the squares. It worked just fine! I used sticks from our stick pile to hold up the plants (like eggplant and hot peppers) that started to fall over from their increasing height and the weight of the growing peppers and eggplants. I used string/twine that we had on hand for the peas and beans to grow up.
I give the garden a small bath daily! Unless, of course, it rains. This is terrible, but I use my basil plant as an indicator! If it looks droopy and thristy, then I’ll give the whole garden a little shower. If the basil is thirsty, chances are the rest of the plants are too. That rule has worked well for me this year!
That’s it from me this week!…Let me know if you have any questions! But, remember, I am just a NOVICE gardener…this is my first year doing all this…and I have much to learn.
I am so thankful for this year’s garden success and LOVE preparing food with the harvest!
(And I’ll let you know about my plans for next year’s garden soon…)