Sunday, April 17, 2016

DIY Garden Boxes for Your Yard

I have always enjoyed the beauty behind plants and gardening but was never sure if I could actually be good at it. It's kind of funny for me to think that because I forget that as a really young child, my mom had a fairly large vegetable garden in our backyard. I would help her regularly and that's probably where I started to fall in love with it.

Fast forward several years later, I had completely forgotten about my love for plants, gardening, and creating my own fresh food. Now it just so happens that I married into a pretty garden heavy family. They all enjoy it and my husband is no exception to that. He has retaught me how to love our yard and the very best ways to grow our own garden. 

Last year we started on a journey together to learn the best ways to grow our own fruits and veggies. And to be totally honest, I was super impressed that anything survived at all, let alone the fact that we had delicious food for most of summer/fall seasons. It really motivated both of us to want to learn more, grow more, and stretch ourselves in this gardening adventure. 

This year we decided to add two more garden boxes to our yard and expand our vegetable growing capacity. I documented our box creating projects so that I could show all of y'all exactly how we made them. That way if you and your family want to create your own garden boxes, you'll have a nice blueprint to do so. Enjoy!!

You're going to start by picking up twelve large 8 foot long, pieces of wood. The boxes are going to be four pieces high, so eight pieces will be your longer sides and four pieces will be cut in half to create your shorter sides. We did our shorter sides at 3 and a half feet to fit the area in our yard better, but you can always cut them straight down the middle to have two equal pieces of four feet each.

We picked ours up from Home Depot and the great thing about their wood department is that they will cut your pieces for you in the dimensions you request.

However, the machine stopped working for the very last piece of wood so we cut that one ourselves lol. If you have a circular saw at home, it is fairly easy to measure it out and cut the pieces you need as well.

Next you are going to stack the wood in an every other sort of pattern. Kinda reminded me of playing with Lincoln logs from when we were kids (if anyone remembers those!). Measure up the longer piece next to the shorter piece and then vice versa on the next level.

You are then going to take a power drill and drill a hole through each of the connected pieces in the corner. This was the one area of struggle in getting them together. Eye up each piece as best you can so that the holes will connect from one log to the next.

Then you're going to want to get a twelve inch spike (also available at Home Depot, in the nail isle) and drive that through all of the holes you just created in the four pieces of stacked wood. We added some extra smaller nails on the sides to finish it out for a little more support.

The next thing we did was add a rock layer to the bottom of our garden beds. This is a completely optional step for you. We have a ton of these rocks in our yard from the previous owner and have wanted to get rid of them, so this allowed us to utilize them in a better area. Also, rocks are a great drainage system for your plants so it was an added bonus for us! If you can get your hands on some rocks then great, but absolutely not necessary if it's going to be an added expense to you. 

After your boxes have completed the building stage, you are going to want to staple in a weed barrier landscaping fabric. This one is the Vigoro brand from Home Depot. This helps to prevent weeds from  growing throughout your garden. 

Last but not least, you are going to add your dirt. We ordered one yard of dirt and one yard of compost, however it ended up being waaaay to much. Partially because we had placed the layer of rocks at the bottom and partially because we over estimated what would be needed. To fill in two garden boxes with the 8 x 3.5 dimensions we created, you probably only need about 1 yard (we seriously had that much left over).

Once your dirt is in place, your boxes are complete and ready to be filled with delicious vegetables. The next step my husband and I will be doing is to dream up what yummy foods we wish to plant. There are so many that we eat on a regular basis and this will literally cut our grocery bill in half (or more) by growing our own.

Oh! And I wanted to mention that both boxes ran us about $55 for the one and only $25 for the other (praise Jesus for sales!!). That included all of the supplies. The dirt was a little bit more and I think cost us around an additional $100. But for all of that, we now can save on most of our groceries this summer and fall as well as in the all the years to come. Not a bad investment if you ask me!

Now I want to hear from you! If you could grow anything in the world, what would it be? I would love to hear your ideas (they may just help us plan out our garden!). Love you all lots!

I want to credit my amazing hubby with giving me all of the correct info to write this post. These boxes are his brain child and it was his research that gave me most of the knowledge that I was able to pass on to y'all. Yaaaay Hubs!

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