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gardening class & progress

Um, tomorrow is March 1st. Ahh!

…Good thing Mr. Prevention and I attended a gardening class put on my 3 “master gardeners” from the Oklahoma State University Extension Group yesterday morning — it certainly lit a fire under my tush! I’ve just been obliviously going through the motions of life since I planned my garden several weeks ago. Maybe I was hoping it would assemble itself? 😉

After attending the class I learned that my plot selectionsucked. While the original plot I selected is on the south side of our house, some “research” proved that there’s just not enough sunlight.  So, I have decided on a raised bed garden. I was planning to smother the Oklahoma bermuda grass, but I’m going to do a little smother action with a raised bed.

Mr. Prevention and I pow-wowed today and one trip to a garden & nursery shop and one two trips to Lowes, we are nearly in gardening business.

The plan:

6 ft x 10 ft raised bed made with 2 in. (wide) x 8 in. (height) wood
8-inch tall 2 in. x 4 in. posted corners for stability
6 sheets of newspaper over the grass within the bed to smother and kill the grass
7-8 inches of soil to level with the top of the frame
8+ hours of daily sunlight exposure
close access to water
no more than 10% incline (fairly flat surface)

Garden cost:

3 bobcat loads of soil + delivery and taxes = $96
2″ thick wood for a 6′ x 10′ bed = $16
2 shovels = $32
hand tools = $20
wheel barrel = $37
nails = $4
seeds = $12

$217 total

I must say, it was a sight to see Mr. Prevention, a wheel barrel, shovels, nails, gardening hand tools, and 2 x 8 x 10 wood planks hanging on for dear life from the back of my crossover (hatchback open) during the brief 2 mile ride from Lowes to home. One of those very few times, of course, I didn’t have my camera with me! 🙁

The soil is being delivered to our driveway early next week so the garden should be fully assembled by next weekend!

BUT, I am already behind. I learned today that my lettuce, spinach, potatoes, and onions should already be in the ground! Oooops! Like I said, full speed ahead…we’ll make due!

Peppers and squash are planted later in spring, and tomatoes don’t go in til after the last frost: May 1st.

Did you know that you shouldn’t water the leaves of tomatoes? I do now! And that it’s best to water in the mornings? I do now! The class was great…I learned lots!

I’m really excited about my gardening prospects! Thus far, this project is much more time-consuming and costly than I had anticipated. But the prospect of home-grown, delicious vegetables and herbs will keep this project a priority for me and I will update you guys along the way! 😀

Question #1: If you get wood cut at Lowes/Home Depot free of cost…do you tip the person who helps you?

I say yes, husband says no. Just curious what you guys thought 🙂

Question #2: Does the cost of this gardening project surprise you? It sure does me!!

A reader emailed asking me to post about her fund-raising endeavors for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Ambre will be walking 60 miles over the course of 3 days and needs to raise $2,300. Having participated in the Avon Breast Cancer walk and needing to raise $2,300, I KNOW how difficult it can be. Please consider giving to this great cause, if even just a little. Go here to donate! Ambre and I both thank you in advance! Every dollar counts!

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  1. February 28, 2010 / 8:38 am

    The costs DEFINITELY surprise me. I would have thought growing your own food to be cheaper, but yikes!
    And I don’t think I’d tip, but I definitely don’t know the protocol

  2. February 28, 2010 / 8:56 am

    Nicole, I am SO excited to read about your gardening adventures!

  3. February 28, 2010 / 9:28 am

    Your garden sounds like it will be fantastic — and with all your produce I bet it will more than make up for the $217 that it cost initially. I can’t wait to see the veggies later — that’s the most exciting part! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. February 28, 2010 / 9:35 am

    Part of the reason the garden is so much is you decided you had to raised bed rather than just till and use your own soil. Looking at your other costs: shovels,hand tools and wheel barrow well these should last you several years and you would need them for either type of garden. So really to go from scratch it’s not that bad. Next year your start up costs will be next to nothing!

    And I wouldn’t tip the guy as he’s not like a waitress and depending on the tip. But it obviously doesn’t mean you can’t.

  5. February 28, 2010 / 9:53 am

    $217 will pay for itself in NO TIME. seriously, a garden’s ROI is realllly high. if i had access to garden space i would definitely build one! and if i was a little less lazy i would get involved in the community garden, lol. can’t wait to see all the fruits (or veggies) of your labor ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. February 28, 2010 / 10:36 am

    creating flower beds can be so expensive. I think my mom spent close to 1,000 to make custom beds all around our house when I was growing up. totally worth it, though!
    Can’t wait to see how your garden looks!

  7. February 28, 2010 / 10:45 am

    How exciting!

    I’ve been gardening for quite a few years, and it isn’t cheap… But as some of the other comments mention, your costs so far are mainly investments that will last you many years….

    Have fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. February 28, 2010 / 11:08 am

    That is so cool. My hubby just ordered a bunch of gardening books so we will see, but it is tough when you don’t own and are renting (specifically in another country and you know you are here a set time). Oh well, we will have a nice garden one day. His grandparents had a huge garden so I am glad he likes this as I will reap the benefits ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for tipping, I say yes. I am a former service provider and living in Vegas, I tip for everything. How else will someone make money. If I tip $2, no biggie for me at that time, but if 30 people tip someone $2 in a day, they can eat for a week and then some, so I find it worth to spare a few extra bucks is someone gives good service.

  9. February 28, 2010 / 11:14 am

    Every year we plan a garden and am surprised by the cost. We usually spend between 100-150 on our plants and we have a pretty small plot. What I enjoy is having fresh veggies in the summer. We plant on Memorial Day weekend. So I have a few months to do my planning.

    Can’t wait to see pictures of your garden.

  10. February 28, 2010 / 11:51 am

    I’m not surprised by this cost, because it’s an initial cost. Starting up anything is expensive but each subsequent year will be cheaper as you won’t have to buy shovels and such.
    I’m not sure if this would work, but can you start composting all your food wastes now and not have to buy soil next year? Not sure if you’re into that but it seems like a really cool idea to me!

  11. February 28, 2010 / 12:08 pm

    I just got wood cut at HD a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t even think to tip the guy. That’s his job and he gets payed plenty to do it. I only tip people who go above and beyond my expectations (except waiters since they live off tips).

  12. February 28, 2010 / 12:23 pm

    I’ve never heart of smart balance before!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really love Earth Balance though!! I’m not sure I would even try anything else!!

  13. February 28, 2010 / 2:12 pm

    I need to go to a gardening class!! I know very little about it!! We had our first real garden last summer and it did ok, but I’m sure we could do a lot better if we knew more about it. And I’m not surprised at all about how much it costs to garden. I found that out when we got our house and tried to make it look prettier. All of that stuff adds up quickly!!

  14. February 28, 2010 / 4:29 pm

    I’m sitting here reading with my hubbie: we both think no on the tipping even though we’re big tippers in general. Then again, if you feel like you got very nice service you could certainly give the guy a few bucks.

    We both thought your supplies sounded CHEAP compared to Seattle prices!!! Can’t wait to see how your garden turns out. We have berries already in the ground from last year, and the brussels sprouts and kale are looking good here in the PNW. Share pics!

  15. February 28, 2010 / 5:56 pm

    The cost doesn’t surprise me at all, but I’m up by Seattle, I also won’t be putting anything in the ground for weeks, but my seedlings are all going inside in my little germination station (we could still have a frost). Remember that those expenses are a one time expenses and will last you years. The hardscape, dirt and lumber, and tools will just be re-used next year and your expenses will be maybe some compost (if you don’t make your own) and seeds. So stretch that expense over 5+ years and it’s really not much at all. You can probably still save this year if you eat tons of veggies, which you do ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. February 28, 2010 / 6:10 pm

    Ah building a garden is so exciting! Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies. In fact, I have an interview for a part time job this summer at a CSA on Sunday. As much as I garden, I didn’t know that morning was the best time to water! I’ve frequently watered during the afternoon and evenings after the hot sun has beat down on my plants. I just surmised that this is when they’d really need the water. Good to know. Do you know the science behind that?

  17. February 28, 2010 / 6:28 pm

    I love gardening. It really is a skill with so much to learn. I always said that I can see myself living on a huge piece of property with a lovely garden to work in. Actually, I had this growing up. My family had a large piece of property and we had a small garden. It was so much fun growing up, picking produce and eating it right from the earth. It made me very appreciative of our land and plants.

  18. February 28, 2010 / 7:28 pm

    That is about what I would think the garden would cost, but it will be so worth it. Think about how much more flavor your produce will have and in the long run you will probably save money. The best thing is how you are taking charge and leading by example. Planting your own garden will be rewarding in so many ways.

  19. February 28, 2010 / 8:32 pm

    Growing a garden is such an exciting adventure! I dream of growing a garden one day if I ever move outside of NYC.

  20. February 28, 2010 / 11:30 pm

    Starting a garden can be suprisingly expensive but you’ll love having home grown produce! I’ve started peas outside and a bunch of stuff inside. Here in Washington I’ll probably have to wait at least a month before I can take my insiders to their new home outside.

  21. March 1, 2010 / 5:32 am

    The costs def suprises me too…its really costly…

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