Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cheaper Than Dirt

Last week I got an email from Casey, whoever he or she may be, passing along a widget for a site that did a post on making a raised garden bed for $50. 
Five Zero. 
Fifty Washingtons. 
One third of a month of groceries.
Half a yard can buy allot in my world so I kinda was put out that this site was holding out their example as a cost effective fugal gardening method. It's a cool looking graphic that breaks down the cost of constructing a garden bed from scratch. 
I'd be impressed if it didn't cost so much.

Think of this as just a box spring.
This is a bed Woodsrunner built me four years ago out of old fence material I had saved from the but-ugly fence that surrounded my city lot. I didn't save much of that old fence but it's been enough so far. Woodsrunner had odds & ends (screws) laying around his workshop. I think we did actually spend some greenbacks on dirt but knowing myself I'd lay even money down that it wasn't more than $5 for bagged topsoil. 

Bed Me Baby
This year Hubby added a second frame or as I like to say a mattress to the box spring using a few more of those old fence boards tucked up in the rafters of his man cave. Only this time he was outta hardware so he came up with a tight MacGyver move ...

Metal Biscuits 
Those shinny circles are aluminium lids & bottoms from assorted nut cans used to join the fence boards. He's a good man to steal from his scrap metal stash - estimated cost/scrap metal value < 1¢

Like before I'll fill this level up with bunny poop, compost materials, egg shells, wood ash, alternating with bagged top soil that I scored last Autumn for a buck a bag. If you click on this blog post  the second pic is of this exact same bed using the direct compost method. Slick way to say no middle man a.k.a. no compost bin.

On a side note I love my free mulch courtesy of the city who had tree stumps ground the next street over last month. Thank you to hubby for snagging a few cart fulls.

~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. I love it...our first three beds are made from fence as well. The rest were all made from free bricks scored off of Craigslist until a few weeks ago when friend offered me some beautiful salvage wood from an old deck. I just built two brand new beds out of it and plopped down the majority of my garden budget on topsoil (I think 20 bags at 1.40 each) but since they are QUITE large I still had to use lots of compost, bunny poop, and kitchen scraps.

    How great is it that you got free mulch. I'd love some mulch right now. I think our city uses it all in the parks.

    1. Don't ya just love free ?! What r u planning on growing ?

  2. I have access to all the free horse manure and sand I can carry home! I have been filling 5 gallon buckets and putting it in my van on a tarp to bring home the sand!
    I usually wait until a day when I can borrow my BIL's truck and then I load up on the horse manure! It just costs me gas money. (I try to get a load of sand when I am already out and about so that it is no extra gas cost there.) Neither place that I get the sand or manure from are within in bike riding distance or my boys would be making the trek daily getting me buckets full! LOL!
    Nice bed Pelenaka!

    1. Thanks Pam6, I can't wait to get it planted.

  3. I love my raised beds too. The wood ones we built back in 2005, are from boards we bought from the sawmill. Our stone beds were built for free because every time my husband had to build somewhere, he hit rock. So between that and our horse paddock being full of rock we built more beds. I am like you, I like cheap. That does not mean it is not good though. In some cases, it is much better!

    1. Cheap just makes the produce taste so much better huh.


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest