Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why My Feet Look Like This

So, this past week, T. and I embarked on a little project.  Well, not so little.  As in it took both of us two full days to actually build the things not to mention several days to plan, amass materials, and return items several times to actually get the right thing.  The returns lady at the Lowe's knows my first name now.  Sigh.

In addition, I can't get the mud off my feet.  I wore rubber clogs the whole time, but the long hours in the mud/clay of Central Texas and the permanently gooey state of my shoes has left these horrible brown (burnt siena in the 64 box) stains on my feet.  It's so bad that I had to wear socks at yoga yesterday, which never leads to good things.  And I will save you the description of what's under my toenails.  And I've showered every day since Sunday.  Maybe.  Okay.  Just once.  Okay.  Yesterday.

Everything took a really long time because we were creating this design from scratch, incorporating ideas from gardens we liked the looks of but couldn't afford and gardens we could afford but didn't like the looks of.  The basic premise and what we used for our fencing (cages) came from Square Foot Gardening (also the reason for the small beds and grids), the Suwanee, GA extension service and the Austin Food Bank.  There's also great information at the SFG Forum.  

I also had a most expert tutorial and demonstration from my friend, R, another recovering lawyer turned mom turned gardener.  It really does help to actually SEE what you're going for. If you can, go find someone who's doing the square foot thing and ask to visit.  She might even offer you her leftover seed.  Most of R's seed love has already sprouted in the front bed.
And for our new beds, what started as a mish-mash of ideas has turned into something really beautiful and that we're really proud of.  Even the girls are excited to help keep the gardens going.

We started with bare ground along the edge of a new granite gravel pathway.
The poles are electrical conduit (a/k/a/ cheap fencing) is for the garden cages that we built later.

After tilling the soil where the beds would go, we built a frame from UNTREATED pine (cedar was crazy expensive) boards 12" high.  We bought these handy, dandy (but NOT cheap) corners from Gardener's Supply Co.  We decided to spend the money here because having a place to put our supports kept us from having to build a giant deer fence around all three beds.  Because the damn deer eat everything.

We removed about half of the tilled soil and supplemented with several bags of organic Hill Country Garden Soil from Natural Gardener and Turkey Compost, which is what Larry told us to buy.

After making my square foot grid, I planted both transplants and seeds.  My goal was to grow only what I will be able to either eat or can for later:  tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers from transplants, pickling cucumbers, radishes, and squash from seed.

So, the final product (late on day 2) was beautiful.  We also spent some real money on the fence panels because they provide structural support.  Still far, far cheaper than fencing the entire area.  Other than the fencing, all the metal caging and hardware came from the electrical aisle at the Lowe's.
T. has promised to put together a materials list.  Check back for details.

Now, I just have to wait to see what all comes up!

And get a pedicure.


  1. Love to see our Raised Bed Corners put to good use. Good innovation with the fencing panels and conduit. How will you get access for harvest? Do the panels slide out? -David Grist, Gardener's Supply

  2. Hi, David. Wow! Thanks for the positive feedback. What we've got (but you can't see from the pictures) is an entire side panel that hangs from a conduit crossbar and swings up for access for weeding and harvesting. The panel hangs from aluminum fence side brackets that we've repurposed as sort of swinging hinges. We loved those corners. They made all the difference and were well worth the cost.

  3. completely fabulous!! cannot wait to see these in person. miss you tons... {heart}