Mike asked me for a shopping list for my square foot garden so here is the details so far. I’ll try to put prices in where I can remember them or have details. The hardware was purchased at Lowes, the Mel’s mix and plants at Oakland Nursery (ON) and the mulch at OhioMulch. Prices are approx when I can’t remember the exact price and it is too late to go looking for the receipts.
For the Garden bed
- 8′ * 4′ 15/16 plywood for the base. Lowes will cut this (roughly) in half so you will have half left for another project (or another bed) - this is optional but it will do a better job at preventing weeds growing through the bottom and also makes the whole thing portable (if you can lift that much dirt!) I have seen some people attached wheels to their base to move it around. $11
- 2 times 8′ * 6″ for the sides. Again Lowes cut this in half for me. The one thing you have to watch is that the pieces of wood are either longer than 4′ OR my 8′ board wasn’t quite 8′ as the sides are slightly longer than the base and therefore the base doesn’t quite cover the bottom – there’s a tiny gap left but I didn’t realise this until after I had screwed the sides together. $7 (approx)
- Laths for the grid – these were more expensive than in the book but I think this is mainly because I couldn’t find anything really suitable in Lowes and ended up having to get a pack of 10 6′ laths,- $5.88
- 12 screws to hold the sides together, about 20 screws to attach the base to the sides. Use as many as you think are necessary. I already had a bulk pack from previous woodworking projects so these were “free”, 21 screws for the laths – make sure you drill the pilot holes first for these!
For Mel’s mix
- 1 large bag of Vermiculite from Oakland Nursery. They didn’t have coarse, so the medium was used instead – $19
- 1 3.8 cubic feet bag of peat moss from Oakland Nursery. The “recipe” actually only calls for 2.6 cubic so again there is plenty left over – $10
- To make the compost I used 1 40lb bag of cow manure, 1 40lb bag of organic compost. However as the recipe for Mel’s wasn’t sufficient in quantity I also added 1 40lb bag of Potting soil – $7.70
- The recipe calls for a third vermiculite, third peat moss, third compost – I ended up with the following for a 8 cubic foot bed – 3.9cf vermiculite, 3.9cf peat moss, 1.3cf manure, 1.3cf compost. The quantities were multiples of 1.3 as that was the size of the cardboard box I was using to get a rough measure. I still have plenty left in the bags to make top up mix and also for any seedlings that I grow indoors.
- 9 packs of seeds from Oakland. They were having a discount sale for a third off (I think) so $9.50
- 2 rebars for vertical supports from Lowes
- 1 10′ electrical conduit piping cut in half and threaded at Lowes, 1 4′ piece and 2 elbow joints to make the supports for the vine plants.
- I also purchased a 50′ * 4′ roll of chicken wire (politically correct - poultry fence) to make cages to put over the base unit to stop the birds, squirrels and chipmunks eating the veggies. The 4′ roll was slightly more expensive but it will make life easier when making the cage sections. $25 but will also be used to make a compost pile – but thats another blog post.
- 4 times 8′ * 1″ * 2″ posts, cut in half at lowes to make the base for the 2 cages that I’ll put on (varying heights) $9
- Support netting for the vine plants – I’ve yet to purchase that.
All in all, I’m not sure how much it came to -about $120-$130 from a rough estimate its a lot to spend all in one go but I think of it more as a fun project and a hobby to enjoy as well as a learning experience rather than just comparing it to the cost of shopping at Giant Eagle comparison, and lets be honest – anything that keeps me out of Giant Eagle of Kroger is worth every penny.
Don’t be put off by these prices – you could do it for less, with no base board and no poultry fence, especially if you can scrounge some old lumber from somewhere and some wooden pallets.
Update Prices updated as I found my receipts. I also got $15 off the prices at Oaklands as there was a $10 gift card for filling out a Scott’s lawn questionaire and a $5 coupon for a spend over $40 (and my total was originally $41)