Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WFMW: Building a Box-Garden

This summer, Roman and I...okay fine, really just Roman, tried his hand at gardening. In one aspect, it worked out really well. We had an abundance of squash, zucchini, and cucumbers and were able to give some away. Some of the plants didn't do as well, such as the watermelon, tomato, and bellpeppers. But one thing we quickly found out: weeding is annoying. And so we didn't do it. At all. Causing our garden to look like this:

Picture that mess on a much larger scale, because that is only the last few plants of our garden that are left after Roman mowed the rest of it down.

We He really didn't like the work, but we really loved all of the fresh produce our garden produced. So for our fall garden, we decided to try building a box-garden. The way a box-garden is constructed is supposed to drastically cut down on the growth of weeds, which means it requires less maintenance. Sold. So for anyone else who is curious, here are the steps we took to build ours:

Step One: Gather materials.

You will need four boards to construct the box, a plastic tarp or some trash bags to lay on the bottom (this is what helps stop the growth of weeds), and then dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. Oh yea, and then you'll need to actually buy what you want to plant in your garden. That's kind of necessary as well.

Step Two: Assemble the box.

Pretty simple. All you do is lay out the boards in a square, then screw the corners together. Just make sure that everything is nice and even on your corners and Voila! You have a giant box.

supervisor dog not required

Step Three: Lay down the plastic.

Before we laid down the plastic, Roman scalped the grass in the box with a weed eater, just to further discourage growth. But if you don't have a weed eater, this is not required. After he got done, we had a thick black tarp that we laid down in the center of the box. We then went around the edges with large trash bags, placing them under the boards and covering the entire area. You can see in the second picture where we pulled the edges of the plastic out from under the boards by a few inches. We did that just to ensure no sneaky weeds would start growing up under the boards and find their way into our garden.

Step Four: Fill the box with dirt.

I'm not going to lie, doing this step in the heat of the day with 90% humidity made me think I was dying. We had gotten some dirt from my dad's house (he shoveled some into a trailer with his tractor), so we had to shovel out all of that dirt from the back of the trailer into the box. We paused halfway through to break for lunch (and cool off), so that helped. But still. It was a lot of dirt, yo.

Suddenly, I hate gardening
Step Five: Get everything nice and even.

Pretty straightforward. You just want to make sure your dirt is as even as possible so all of your plants have enough soil for their roots.

Step Six: Figure out the spacing for your plants.

This will definitely require you to do a little bit of homework on what you're planting. For instance, squash and cucumbers need a TON of room to grow, whereas bellpeppers and tomatoes do not. So figure out what kind of room each of your plants need, and then space them out accordingly.

Scoot over cucumber, you're all up in my grill

Step Seven: Plant your plants.

This part is easy. Just dig the holes and place the plants inside. We bought actual plants (obviously) rather than seeds. Sure, buying the plant is more expensive (we paid $3 for each plant), but you generally have MUCH better success rates over planting seeds, and you get your produce quicker, so that works for us.

Step Eight: Water your plants.

Duh. But just in case, don't forget this last step. How often you water your plants is determined by what you planted and how much shade your garden gets. Our garden sits in direct sunlight pretty much from sun-up to sun-down, so we water our garden just about every day. If you are new to gardening, you will just have to use trial and error to figure out what's best. If plants look like they are drying up, water more. If they look healthy and are growing, keep doing what you're doing. Look at you, you gardening pro.

I'm ready for my close-up
And for all you haters out there, look whose flowers are still alive. MINE.

Haterz gonna hate
Box-gardening really work for us!!

Note: I am not a gardening expert and neither is my husband. So anything I tell you to do may or may not work for where you live/what you plant. Don't hate me, let's just be friends, m'kay?

"Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God." ~Psalm 92:13

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