Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Garden Project: May Update

As I discussed in a previous video, I am attempting to have a garden this summer. I've had hit or miss success in the past with growing plants.  How does that pertain to a blog about self sufficiency with income?

I wanted to see if there was profit, and how much of it, saved by growing vegetables and fruit vs how much it would cost to buy them in the stores.

I live in a townhome so yard space is limited. On top of that I have no windows facing south or to the east. This has made starting seedlings a bit rough. Why am I starting with seedlings? Well they are the cheapest to start with and also I have plenty of time. Where I live, the last night of frost is into June.

To overcome the yard space I built two raised gardens. I took 2"x12"8' boards to make 2, 4'x8' beds of one foot in height. I covered them in wetseal sealant and filled them with a 25% manure / 75% topsoil mixture. These were built last year so I might need to stain them.  Here is the monetary breakdown.

4 boards: $44
16 "L" brackets with 2 holes in each side: $48 (these were pretty solid at $3 each. With little carpentry skill I was concerned with them not being strong enough to hold all the dirt)
Screws: $9
2 truckloads of topsoil mix: $40
Wetseal: $13
Total for 2 beds: $154

I started the seedling back during the first week of April. To be honest? The lack of direct sunlight really slowed their growth down. I'll have to think about getting a grow-light for next year. We were still having snow a couple times in May so I couldn't risk having them out in the open.

We will have to see. If nothing else I will "cheat" and buy some pregrown plants for this year and plan better next year.


  1. We started growing tomatoes and eggplants this year in 4 1/2 gallon buckets. This is the first time we've ever done it. We planted the last weekend of February and cut our first eggplants 2 weeks ago and our 1st tomato this weekend. The hard part is the planting, the rest is pretty easy. We only have 6 buckets so it's not overwhelming. It's relaxing to come home and check on them. Good luck to you and your garden this year.

  2. Interesting HomeDefender. Are there drainage holes in those? A 4-5 gallon bucket is actually a good idea. Large enough to grow some nice plants but light weight and portable enough to move if needed. Plus they are pretty cheap at any hardware store. Thanks for passing that on.

  3. @Pulling
    I drilled 4 small holes and put about a 1/2 inch layer of rocks at the bottom of each bucket. You can watch my son and me on this vid.