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Digging and Dollars: The Garden is Underway!

By Michael Buck and Michelle Pittman

After two trips to Home Depot, a few hours of labor and a walk through the neighborhood scouring for supplies, our cold weather garden is ready to roll.

We’ll be dropping our plants into the ground this weekend and running through the construction process a second time to ready our warm weather bed. Until our harvest, we have to rely on other local sources of leafy greens. One is available at Wegmans from these guys. Pick up a head and try this recipe.

The salad will be twice as good when it’s made with backyard spinach. We’re sure of it. So far we’ve spent a few dollars on the project, which really isn’t bad because we had zero supplies — not even a hose.

We’re going to lay it all out. There are some corner you can cut to keep costs down and we’ll mark them appropriately. Plenty of people have most of this stuff already, so tally those in the win column.

Here’s what we spent:

* $50 for 50 feet of 2×6 wood
* $20 for 100 feet of hose
* $8 for garden gloves
* $15 for two bales of peat moss (which turned out to be way too much)
* $15 for ten 40-pound bags of topsoil
* $20 for miscellaneous supplies

Not including the plants, the total came to $128. You can knock out the biggest expense, the boards, and save a Grant. Our yard is super-duper windy, so we popped for the boxed beds to keep everything in place. But you don’t exactly need ’em.

As for the rest of the stuff? We spent an hour trolling through our neighborhood for dead leaves and bags of grass. We raked our own yard, but there just wasn’t enough. Trash day is a good time to look for discarded clippings. We’re not ashamed to say we hauled a couple bags of grass out of a trash can. Also, we have saved a ton of newspapers; it’s an item you can get on recycling day.