Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Urban Garden Part 1

 Finally I'm ready to share my Urban Farm.
It's mostly done, I still have to plant the veggies
and the citrus, but that will happen today.

First things first though.
We needed to build a grow box for the veggies.
Since we are on a shoestring budget for this Urban Farm
I needed to get creative.
Luckily I was able to score loads of pallets for free off
Craigslist and I haven't even scratched the surface of using
what I have.

It's kind of an obsession.  I see them everywhere.
I'm not kidding. I still have a lot of pallets in the side yard and for some reason I want more!

So nearly all the wood used here I got for free.  Even the 2x6's that are the top edge of the grow box.  I just went to my local home construction site and asked if I could take some of their scraps.  They gladly obliged since it's less trash weight they have to pay.
They're happy.
I'm happy.
Win ! Win !

The only thing I paid for are the long pallets you see along the fence.  Those were $2 each from my local salvage yard.  I'm going to cover them with chicken wire to allow my vining plants room to grow.

I also splurged on a high quality exterior house paint to paint the boxes with. I needed them to last for a while and that was the best option to prevent sun and water damage to the wood.

I chose a fun blue color to off set all the green that will be happening soon!
I painted the interior and the exterior of the boxes.

But let me share a little of the process.

First we decided how tall we wanted the boxes to be. Then measured the pallets and cut them down with a rotary saw.  Luckily I scored some super heavy duty pallets that were not coming apart anytime soon.  Those were the main structure for the grow box.Since all the pallets had openings between the slats, we needed to used some other pallet wood to cover them up.  The kids loved helping pound nails into the wood.
And really since it's pallets, I didn't care that they were perfectly spaced. 
Kind of adds to the rustic-y-ness.
You should also know that no one in my house is a master carpenter.
Again... rustic-y-ness.

Our dog Daisy was just happy to be outside with everyone.
As was all the kids!
Definitely a family affair.

Working alongside the kids is 
a necessary experience for all of us!

After all the slats were nailed in place,
we joined the pallets with screws and extra boards on the outside
and the tops were covered with the 2x6 boards.
It kind of makes a U shape that we pushed up against the back wall of the yard.

We used a few pieces of Rebar to pound in the ground and secure with
metal U straps.  I'm going to paint them to blend in with the rest, 
but haven't gotten to that yet.

Since our yard was all rocks before we moved in,
we saved some when we scraped them all off and used that as
the base of our grow box.
That was a nightmare job if there ever was one.
If I never have to scrape up rocks again it will be too soon.

After the box was painted inside and out, it was time to fill it.

I am using sand and sawdust.
The sand was $20 from Home Depot for a 1/2 ton.
I got 3 large bags of sawdust from my uncle who really is a master carpeter
with a sand alone shop and every tool you can imagine.
I just asked for his extra sawdust and he happily obliged.
If you don't have an uncle like that,
check with your local Home Depot or Lowes and ask what they do with
the sawdust from cutting lumber.
They will probably let you have it for free.

I'm using the Mittleider method for gardening.
It doesn't use soil, just sand and sawdust.
You feed the plants exactly what they need when they need it.
No weeds.  No extra cost for soil.


We added the sand and sawdust in layers, then everyone stuck their hands in and mixed it all together.
Very fun and therapeutic at the same time!
Then my Husband climbed inside and smoothed out the whole thing with a rake.

Here's a pic of my youngest dreaming of fresh fruits and veggies soon to come.

Well at least that's what I imagine him to be dreaming about.
That's what I'd be dreaming about.

One last look before I fill it up with plants.
I'm sooo excited.
And I literally spent less than $50 on the whole thing. 
Not to bad!

Come back soon and I'll show you my potato box, garden plans and more pics of the yard.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice Shelley. You guys did a fantastic job. My husband helped me build our raised garden bed and I am super proud of them. He's no master wood worker and neither am I but you learn as you go. I just can't wait for Spring to come so I can get to planting again.


Print It Button