Was there gardening done this weekend? Oh yeah!
For starters, I needed raised beds. Well, more like wanted due to the advantages, per my dad, such as it's easier to work in them, the soil warms up faster so you get better and faster yields, and the height keeps the critters at bay. I've seen three different flavors of critters 'round my house and all need to keep away from my vittles! The question then becomes how long? How tall? Made out of what? Cinder blocks last forever but look ugly. There's all kinds of fear mongering concerning treated lumber and chemicals leaching into the food. And that's when I stumbled upon roofing sheet metal.
Menards has the stuff and it would cost me about $55 for the metal, plus the cost of treated 2X4s for the frame and wood for a ledge to sit on 'cause no one wants to put their keister on a razor thin (well, 22 gauge) slice of metal. But there's a problem. Having worked with the stuff for twenty-five years I'm completely comfortable with wood. But stone? Tile? Linoleum? Carpet? I'm a newbie. The same goes double for metal and it's sharp edges. Just thinking about making the necessary cuts gave me mental images of sliced fingers and palms.
So with my fear and trepidation I changed out the blade in the circular saw and began cutting, remembering to wear eye and ear protection but forgetting to wear long sleeves. There was smoking, there were sizzling red hot edges, the saw blade warped and had to cool until in unwarped but in the end I was able to make all the necessary cuts in about one hour and with no bodily injuries. Take THAT Craigslist jerk!
Attaching the 2X4 legs wasn't too difficult. I used a combination of galvanized roofing nails and exterior screws. The legs themselves only extend two inches into the ground as I figure once these are filled with dirt they aren't going anywhere. In putting them together I took great pains to make sure that they were lined up with the existing onion bed. I wasn't really thinking about making sure the sides were straight up and down. Oops. Because the side legs aren't exactly plumb the 4" wide topper boards aren't quite up to the task so I'll be replacing these with 6" boards soon and no one will know of the err in my ways. Unless they read this and look closely at the pictures.
So what am I out for this week's adventures?
$55 - sheet metal (for three 10' X 4' raised beds)
$20 - 9 treated 2X4s (makes three)
$12 - 3 10' X 4' boards (makes one)
$10 - 2 10' X 6' boards to cover up my mistake
$1 - .75 cu ft manure
$7 - 6 plastic bags o' dirt
$2 - seeds
$10 - metal cutting blade
That makes a whopping total of $117! However each raised bed, sans dirt, will cost around $42 and should last until I'm too arthritic to garden.
Lesson Learned: Don't be a jerk if you offer services on Craigslist.