Cheapest raised beds...??
If you read yesterday's post you noticed that we are, with tremendous hope, planting seeds for a future garden. There is a lot that needs to happen to see a garden this year, besides all the brush we have removed we now have about 6" of water standing in much of the garden courtesy of it being the lowest part of the yard...
We also still need to put a deer fence up, acquire plants, build raised beds, get some dirt in them etc. This is more work than any other garden we have attempted, but nonetheless we are one our way.
Here's the catch though, it isn't cheap. Sure it's not the most expensive project in the world but our "extras" these days consist of things like tires, or getting a tooth pulled (okay we did go to Denver last month but that was as steal and travel is part of Sean's mental health- so it should be considered a healthcare cost!). So of the various ways to save money here are some of the thoughts we are having.
Wooden beds are classic. They don't have chemicals that mess things up (at least untreated wood) and they look lovely. They last several years, but they do have to be replaced from time to time. When starting to make plans I priced lumber at the on Island lumberyard. Though lumber prices fluxuate the 2 raised beds would cost about $150 in lumber and probably $10 in bolts and such. So that means that a wooden raised bed would be about $160 not including tax...
This is the look we are going for.
Another option, which we are doing so don't knock it is we are using some old filing cabinets. We won't paint them, as I don't want the extra chemicals leaching into food, soil etc, but I think they will be great for tomatoes, peppers etc. As I see them they might just be a short term option we will see. We got 2 of them for $4.00 at the thrift store on the Island and could easily get several others. I am thinking we will put 2 of them near the house (not next to it as we don't want to risk rot on the siding) so we can utilize the micro-climate heat that comes off the house and possibly actually get some tomatoes (it is such a risk in Seattle!)
Our third option is using cinder blocks to create the walls for our raised beds. On one hand I find cinder blocks very visually unappealing. There is just something about cinder blocks that say "prison" to me (seriously, I worked in a prison and all the walls were just cinder blocks!). However, cinder blocks are cheap! They are just over 1.00. I have figured out that we just need 36 blocks per raised bed (the beds would be a tad shorter than if wooden) so even i the blocks are $2.00 a pop then the price is $144. Then next year we could add another layer to make them taller if we want.
On pro on this on is also that I really can't stand the texture of cinder blocks...I can just imagine the scrapes I am going to get on my arms, it's like my version of fingernails on a chalkboard...
So we don't know yet exactly what we will decide. What bout you reader....what do you think we should do? Are the wooden beds worth it? We aren't going to do a whole garden of filing cabinets...just fyi.