Weekend Project: Raised Garden Bed

So I was browsing Walmart’s website, like we all do, when I came across this heck of a deal: A raised bed that was normally over $200 was on sale for $99 you guys!! (currently $109 as of 4/11/17)

Raised Bed Walmart

I had been toying with the idea of a raised bed like this since early last year, but didn’t want to pay out the rear for it.

I showed my husband and asked him how big the bed was and if it was a good deal. His response (and one of the many reasons why I love this man): “I can make you one bigger and better for probably less.”

SOLD!

He mentioned we had some lumber from other weekend projects laying around that we could use to cut down costs. So off we went!!

We still had the lumber from our old raised bed in storage that we took to his work and put on the planer. That stuff looked brand new!

I even had the materials to make the legs. All I needed was a couple 4×12’s from Lowes for the sides. $30 bucks no biggie.

IMG_0402.JPGHere’s an in-progress picture. I used our re-planed old garden bed material for the bottom planks. The new lumber we bought we cut into the walls.

More construction pics:

Don’t be fooled by the skinny legs, this sucker is sturdy. I was worried once I filled it with dirt, they wouldn’t hold, but I’ve had it up and running for at least 3 weeks now and no issues!

Walmart’s raised bed dimensions were: 48.50″ x 22.50″ x 30.00″ (LxWxH)

Mine ended up being: 72″x24″x33″ (LxWxH)

And since I reused a lot of lumber, it cut my costs way down, so with building materials and weed fabric combined, I probably spent only $45-50.

That’s a win in my book!

“But Lindsay,” you must ask, “isn’t it going to cost you a fortune to fill that bad boy up?”

Great question! I will enlighten you on how I did it in my next entry! So please check back!

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My Aha Moment

Guys, I had an “aha moment” the other day. Spring in the Midwest always means one thing: Severe Thunderstorms. We’re right smack dab in tornado alley. So, more often than not, we get a lot of strong winds.

I had just planted my little lettuce and chard seedlings in my newfangled raised garden bed (post about that coming soon!). So I was a worried garden momma. I didn’t want my poor little seedlings to get pummeled in the wind and rain. Not after all that hard work!

So I looked for any way I could find to shield them from the elements. I tried pinning a woven tarp to the gutters of my greenhouse and let them drape over the side of the raised bed. That didn’t work, the tarp just blew into the bed itself. So I stuck some sticks into the dirt to help keep it propped off of the bed. Still didn’t work.

So I looked in the greenhouse to see what would possibly work, and it was staring me right in the face! My terra cotta pots! I had several of them just stacked up in the corner unused.

So I flipped those little suckers upside down and placed them over my seedlings. I made sure that the hole wasn’t directly over my seedling, so that the rain could still get through the hole and water the dirt around the seedling itself.

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AND, the pots were heavy enough that I wouldn’t have to worry about them blowing off in the wind. I was short a couple small pots so I ran to Wally World and bought three more small ones for $ .77 a piece. Can’t beat that kind of price!

I sure hope my aha moment helps you all out this wet and rainy spring season!

The Greenhouse

Last year, my husband gifted me a 6×8 hobby greenhouse from Harbor Freight. I love this thing! I’m sure I’m under utilizing it right now, but I’m learning as I’m going.

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As for my new greenhouse, I laid down some pea gravel on the sides and made a walkway down the middle with nice red 12×12 pavers. I’m quite pleased with how it has turned out!

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I’ve mainly used to to over winter my hydrangeas and experiment with cold weather crops such as swiss chard and lettuce. So far I have had good luck!

I have been alternating between a small utility heater and a small fan, depending on the outside temperature. The heater keeps things 15-20 degrees warmer inside on super cold days, which I am very happy about!

Here are a few more pictures:

Do you have a hobby greenhouse? If so, I would love to see or hear about your set ups!

Thanks for reading!

-Lindsay

My “Germination Station”

Let me show you how I started my seedlings this year!

I had some luck germinating my lettuce seedlings in the greenhouse itself. But once the lettuce got bigger, I had to keep the greenhouse cooler so they wouldn’t wilt, so that wasn’t conducive to quickly germinating seedlings.

So I put together my little “Germination Station”. It’s so easy, and I bet you already have all the supplies you need!

If you are an avid gardener like myself, and love growing things by seed, then I’m sure you have a few of these laying around gathering dust:

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Well bust those bad boys out! And those Christmas lights you just put in the closet a couple months ago? Grab a strand, because that’s really all you need to get started!

Step 1: Flip a lid (you’ll need 2) over and wind a strand of Christmas lights all inside the lid, leaving the tail with the plug in out.

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Step 2: Nest the bottom tray inside of the lid. This is where you will put your cell packs.

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Step 3: Put the other clear lid on top of your bottom black tray and plug in your lights. Simple as that!

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Here is a few pictures I snapped as I was germinating some seedlings about a month ago:

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It gets downright tropical in there!IMG_0419.JPG                          If you look really closely, you can see my little Coleus seedlings!

If you have concerns with the heat given off by the Christmas lights, I have had no problems. I’m paranoid about fire hazards myself, and I felt the bottom of the lid that contained the lights, and while it was warm, it was never hot to the touch. I have had it on nonstop for days at a time, and at no point did the lights get close to melting into the plastic.

Have you tried something similar? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

– Lindsay

An Introduction!

Hello and welcome to my little space on the web! My name is Lindsay and I live in the heart of the Midwest with my husband of 10 years and 9 year old son. I’m a bit of a chronic hobbyist. I love trying new things! I’ve done everything from soap and candle making, to jewelry making and I’m starting to dabble in leatherworking. But I’ve always had a love for growing things. Growing up, my mother always had, and still has amazing flower beds and an ability to make anything grow. So color me so excited that I was able to have a green thumb like hers.

I’ve never not had a garden, big or small. Just doesn’t feel right not to have SOMETHING growing.

2014 Garden

Our “square foot garden” from 2014. Probably one of the biggest we’ve had!

So I am using this blog as a sort of garden diary, sharing what I am growing, how things are going, successes and missteps, ect. You can also view my flower photography in the Gallery section of the site (accessible by the menu at the very top of the page!)

I hope you follow a long with me on this gardening adventure, and feel free to offer advice, as I still consider myself a garden novice!

-Lindsay