Gettin’ Down and Dirty

Its been a few days, but we’re back and ready to show our raised garden! We finally got it built (about 10 trips to Home Depot and 2000 lbs of soil later). If you remember, this was the (very) rough plan for our raised garden. The garden runs along our 8′ privacy fence, just below our gutter gardens.

We started out by marking out the area we planned to use for the garden. We initially planned on building a 3’x 15′ garden, but after living with it for a couple of days we decided to expand it to a 4’x16′ garden, not least of all because that would make our lumber purchases easier (since we used 8′ treated deck boards).

Because both our puppies have a thing for digging, we decided to surround our garden with chicken wire.Β  Its not the most attractive option, but it beats having Rosie and Indy greeting us covered in compost with a baby tomato plant hanging out of their mouths. For the fence stakes we used 1″x 1″ pressure treated deck railing. It might seem like an odd choice, but the cut off end made driving them into the ground very easy. Just ask the hubs.

Yeah. I’m married to that. Don’t lie, I know you’re jealous. πŸ˜‰

Putting up the chicken wire was fairly easy. We just stapled it to the fence posts (with our new staple gun… I can just see all the upholstery projects I can tackle now). I’d suggest wearing jeans and maybe gloves (or chainmail) when you’re handing the chicken wire. It tends to have a mind of it’s own and all the pointy little ends are scratchy. Its like walking through a berry patch in a bikini. Ouch.

Miraculously, we managed to fit six 8′ pressure treated 2x6s into my Mustang. And got the trunk closed. We cut two of them in half then screwed each board into place, making sure that each board was square and level before screwing it in. In order to get one of the boards to be level and line up we had to dig a mini trench for it to rest in. We added brackets in the corners to add a little extra stability.

Based on our dimensions, we knew we needed two yards (54 cu. feet) of soil. We called several bulk material places in Dallas and priced delivery of just enough soil for our garden. This was the point in the project when we realized that the phrase “dirt cheap” is a terrible, horrible lie; dirt is not cheap and delivery is worse. Our other option was bagged soil, but since we both drive Mustangs we weren’t sure that we’d be able to even fit 54 cubic feet of dirt into our babies.

In the end, we decided to go with bagged soil. No materials companies were willing to deliver only two yards of dirt for less than $200 and we figured that if we could fit 10′ guttering and 8′ boards into our cars, we could fit a few bags of dirt. Somehow, we managed to fit all 36 bags into our Ponies.

We went with an equal three part mix of organic compost, landscaper’s mix, and potting soil. We decided to use potting soil over top soil because it contains ingredients that help with water retention, meaning that during our hot Texas summers our little garden that could will hold onto it’s precocious water longer. Our mixing method was very scientific: dump and hoe.

Torrential rain and cooler temps means we haven’t had a chance to plant yet. This weekend is supposed to be back in the 80’s though and we plan on visiting the Dallas Farmer’s Market to buy some baby veggies. We’re loving how the garden looks, though, and can’t wait to be picking our own dinner here in a few months.

Have you started on your garden yet? Do your puppies like to photobomb your project photos as well? Any suggestions on what we should plant?


21 thoughts on “Gettin’ Down and Dirty

  1. I just wrote out a long comment and it gave me some kind of error and now it’s gone – rawr!

    So, let me sum up what I all said – LOL.

    Everyone’s pets are photobombing our blogs these days, they must really want to be on them interwebz.

    The garden looks great – I’m jealous.

    & then my question: is it going to be hard for you guys to get to your herbs now that the raised bed is below them? or will you just have to take those shoes off and step in the soil to pick ’em? πŸ™‚

    (My comment failed twice – It made me login to wordpress… weird)

    • Thanks! I”m glad you like it!

      For now, we plan on just climbing in (I love the feel of dirt between my toes), but if that proves to be a problem, we have a plan to build a door in the fence. Also, having a 6’4″ husband will help.

  2. We need to start working on the garden (it needs serious TLC) but we did plant some garlic in a planter and bought some basil and parsley. Baby steps, right?

  3. So jealous of your garden! You guys did a great job setting the area up!

    And I do not have a puppY to photobomb me, but my cat does it ALL.THE.TIME.

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  5. Hi,

    I saw a comment of yours on YHL blog and found your site πŸ™‚ Looks awesome.. We are also two twenty somethings with a new house trying to turn it into a home on a budget πŸ™‚ I saw your gutter garden, it looks like what we did a month or so back, check it out:

    its awesome to find other people that we can relate to – i will definitley keep following you guys to see what you are up to πŸ™‚

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