Friday, April 19, 2013

Step 2 - Go Big or Go Home (Gathering Supplies)

The point of Square Foot Gardening* is to grow a lot of food in a small space. That's a great concept for normal people, but let's not kid ourselves - nobody has ever accused my family of being normal. When you're trying to feed seven people (six males), a couple of 4'x4' boxes just isn't going to cut it. So we always go big.

Here is a list of supplies we need to gather:

  • landscaping fabric (to reduce the number of weeds)
  • wood (to keep in the dirt - this isn't rocket science)
  • stain (to protect the wood so hopefully the boxes will last longer than a couple of years)
  • braces (If you're doing normal-sized boxes, these are not necessary, but since we have 22' and 28' sections that we're joining together, we need something to stabilize them.)
  • screws (How else are you going to hold the boxes together?)
  • conduit and netting (vertical frames for vine plants)
  • soil (This is going to get an entire post to itself...aren't you excited??)
  • stones (walkways)
  • plants (We haven't gotten set up to do everything from seeds yet.)

Easy in theory, but time-consuming in reality. No one place has everything we need, so there's extra running for that. Factor in the fact that we didn't do enough research and had to rework some of our lumber needs (shocking, I know), and you have, in me, a person who is very thankful that this only needs to be done once. One more time, I mean. Did I mention we've been down this road before? One LAST time. This is the last time I'm doing this, I swear.

Once we got our lumber delivery, we put it in a very rough layout to see approximately what it will look like:

Future garden or Level 1 of the latest game craze?

After the kids got done using it to chase each other around the boards, I started feeling a lot more confident that this is going to look pretty close to what I had been picturing. Well, I'm also picturing landscaping and a patio, but one step at a time, right?

We're still in the process of gathering everything needed, but we've gotten enough of it that we can get the main structures assembled. Weekends seem to be the only time we can really work on it, so this is all taking longer than I had imagined, but I think it's going to be well worth the effort. And if we're late getting the plants in again this year (which we are), it gives me an excuse to run around like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland and say, "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!"

*Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew can be found wherever fine books are sold...or wherever any books are sold for that matter.

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