Sunday, April 29, 2018

How to Make a Small Garden

The title says "How to Make a Small Garden" but what I really mean is how to make a small garden that will last and can be used even if you don't keep it up for years at a time!

Story time:  Five years ago we put in our raised bed garden boxes.  Most of the pictures you will see in this post are from the original posts back in 2013.  We built these garden boxes ourselves and I really like how they look in our yard.
There were a few years when we didn't use them and they really got out of hand with grass and weeds.  This year we are using them again but let me tell you, its a lot of work getting them back into usable shape!
Back in 2013 the first thing we did was grab some stakes and string to measure off were we wanted our garden to be in our yard.  Just a rough estimate of what size it would be in the end.

We decided on 4 beds that were 4' x 8' each.  We figured that would give us plenty of space to plant what we wanted.

To build our boxes we used (6) 2x8x16 @ $18.49 each and (4) 4x4x8 @ $10.99 each at our local lumber yard.  The lumber yard cut our 16 footers into 8 footers so they would fit in the truck and after we got home my honey cut a few more of the pieces down to 4 footers for the end pieces then started to build the boxes.
Before we cemented everything down permanently, we laid down the landscaping cloth ($29.98 for 300 sq ft roll) in hopes that weeds wont be bothering our little garden.
We only used a 1/2 bag of cement per leg to make sure the beds wouldn't move.  We ended up using (7) bags of cement that were $3.46 per bag with was about $24.22 total.

NOTE: No need to pre-mix your cement, just add some water to the hole, add cement, stir, mix and more water until you have the consistency you want.  We used a wooden paint roller handle and a shovel to stir and mix.
Next we added the dirt to the boxes and then we poured out our rocks for our pathways.  We went to Walmart and found bags of medium sized rock called Arizona river pebbles.  We used (5) bags @ $3.98 per bag, we could really use a few more bags to be honest.
We used a mixture of store bought dirt and dirt from the actual earth!  We also use our homemade compost as well.
PRO TIP: Put up marking strings if you want to plant in a straight line.  We used kite string and a staple gun to hold each piece in place while we planted.
PRESENT DAY:  This is last weekend.  Time and mother nature took over our pretty garden area.  We were actually working away from home for 9 months at one point, so no time for a garden or anything else for that matter!
Luckily it had just rained about an inch and we were able to pull the grass and weeds out pretty easily.  You can see our collection over there in the wheelbarrow.  Next, my honey used the handheld tiller to mix up the dirt.  When he was done, we sifted through it again and got even more grass, weeds and roots out of the dirt.
From start to finish it took us about an hour and a half for just one bed but we had to get our two little tomatoes plants in the ground.  We'd had them for three weeks already waiting for mother nature to stop sending us the cold weather spells.  I hope we are out of the woods for freezing temps at night now.

This is a great deal on heirloom seed right here!
My honey got them all set in the bed and added a tomato cage to stabilize them for when they start growing taller.

Speaking of tomato cages, you should see what we made with one tomato cage and a stove top drip pan, click right here.
If you look closely in the center of the picture, you can see a 'mater already growing!  I can't wait! There is nothing better than a garden fresh tomato right off the plant! YUMMY!
Back to 2013 when the garden area looked picture perfect!

Originally we added mulch to the outside boarders of each bed.  It was also purchased at Walmart, its called Cypress Mulch and we used (4) bags @ $3.28 per bag.  This was basically for decorative purposes, but it also holds moisture and keeps some bugs away.

As you can see in the current pictures, the grass took over all of the pretty rock and mulch we added.  No worries though, we hope to bring it back to its original loveliness soon!  LOTS of work to do yet!

If you want to read all about the original step by step process, click below.

Raised Bed Garden (Part 1)
Raised Bed Garden (Part 2) 
Raised Bed Garden (Part 3)

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured) 

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  1. What great raised beds and how exciting to already have a tomato on the way! Thank you for sharing your lovely post at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures


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