Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Planting and Building

It's the time of year when people start thinking about warmer months and the taste of fresh tomatoes on the vine.

Here in Texas, that's especially true! Last weekend it was sunny an 70 degrees, and led to a hankering for a garden to plant.

As I alluded to in the last photo post, I was working on an outside project last weekend (among other things). I knew that some of my fruit and vegetable plants were on their way, so I needed to prep for them!

Using this guide as inspiration, I prototyped a raised bed built solely out of cedar pickets. Why cedar pickets? Because I'm cheap! I had done some calculations to see how much it would cost to build 8 raised beds for my vegetable garden, and was astonished. Here were the approximate results:

1. 2x6 cedar or pressure treated wood - ~$450 for 8 beds

Spending nearly $500 on wooden boxes to hold dirt was waaaaay out of the question. That's just ridiculous!

2. 2x4 cedar or pressure treated wood - ~$200 for 8 beds

Now we were getting down to ballpark reasonable prices, but I had some concerns about the look of building everything out of 2x4s and it was still a bit expensive.

3. 6' cedar fence pickets - ~$100 for 8 beds

There was my winner! I had to compromise by going with a 3'x6' raised bed design, but it's well worth it to cut the price to less than half, and still get a good look out of it.

Cedar is somewhat important down here, as it's a natural bug repellant, and we have all sorts of creepy crawlies who are more than willing to steal the fruits of ones labor (pun intended). Besides that, it really looks great, and holds up well to the weather!

After prototyping the build, and being satisfied with the results, I have earmarked next weekend to finish the build of 3 more beds, and I will document the process for later on!

Beyond that, I have 4 trees in the ground right now, an almond, a peach, a pear, and a nectarine. I just got more trees in the mail yesterday, including two plums, two apples, another peach, and more! The orchard is officially started!

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