Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My $90 raised-bed herb garden (Memorial Day weekend project)


Now in my 3rd year of operating a 23' X 64' vegetable garden, I felt this was the right time to tackle another gardening project -- an herb garden.

Though I'm still fairly new when it comes to culinary use, I am eager & willing to learn more -- and I just love gardening!! Besides I know plenty of people who will gladly accept whatever herbs I don't use, and that alone would make me happy.

How it all came about.

I made this garden spontaneously (though I began planning it in my head weeks ago).

It all started Sunday morning when I went to the local farmers market and noticed that their herbs had been marked down from $2.50 to $1 each. Hmmmm I thought -- this is my chance to start an herb garden, why not buy 10 of these to get started.

Then my mind started vigorously racing & planning. From previous calculating, I already knew where & what size I wanted my herb garden to be. I checked my Memorial Day Weekend Home Depot sales flyer, and there they were -- soil & landscape timber on sale. Off I went to purchase.

Here is the cost breakdown:
  • 12 8' Landscape Timber Boards (Memorial weekend sale)= $24
  • 9.5 bags 1 c. ft. Scott's Garden Soil (Memorial weekend sale)=  $24
  • 9.5 bags Generic Top Soil (Memorial weekend sale)= $10
  • 1 box 4" nails = $4
  • 24 herb plants, $1 each (clearance sale @ Farmers Market) = $24
  • Wire fencing: Already owned (bought at yard sale, used about $1 worth)
  • Estimated Tax Paid: $3

Construction notes:

*I made two 3' X 8' raised beds from my landscape timber boards (I had 4 2' pieces leftover from which I made an extra 2X2 bed). I was thinking about making these beds 4' wide but thought it would require a little too much bending, so I settled with the 3 foot width. I used my nails to hold them together.

*Yes I'm cheap, so I mixed 50%-50% my decent Scott's Garden Soil with a bag of generic Top Soil. I combined them together in a wheel barrow using a hoe. I'm happy with this mix - time shall tell with the results.

*As mentioned earlier, our local farmers market started marking down their leftover herb plants. They were $2.50 each just a few weeks back and now they are all just $1. Seeing that they are all mostly still healthy looking, I loaded up by buying $24 herb plants - mostly perennials but a few annuals such as chamomile, dill & basil.

*Using careful calculations and some basic internet research (height, spacing etc.), I planned & diagrammed the garden accordingly with taller plants farthest from the sun (to prevent sun blockage to lower lying plants). I cut my caging to appropriate sizes to act as barriers/mini trellises.

From start to finish (mid-day Sunday to mid-day Tuesday) it took about 2 afternoons of working in 90 to 98 degree heat. Here is the end result:
Not bad for $90, dontcha think? I will post updates on the progress.

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