Getting ready to garden again

We are getting ready to garden again this fall. We are not planting anything yet, but I am getting my soil ready. We tried planting on the ground on my first year here in Texas. I learned real fast that I should not do that. The soil is all clay, and even with my excuse for a raised bed and soil amendments my plants did not thrive. I picked a spot that was too hot and had no shade. (Dang plant guide said full sun). I watched 2 or 3 seasons of my tomatoes and basil just burn.

This season, I am trying it again but will be wiser. We are planting them into plant boxes. This way I can relocate them to shade and I can better control it. I plan to include pest protection and season extensions too. By this I mean some kind of hoop structure with shade or screening.

This project is on a tight budget ($30) so I am going real cheap on the planter but will focus on irrigation and automation. For the first part, we built the planter this past weekend. I am happy to say that we did a lot (me and my 5 yo son) in under 2 hours. We were not accurate and craftsman-ish. But we gathered scrap wood from previous projects. We reused our neighbor’s old fencing. (He had put in new ones after hail damage). Cut and hammered away pretty fast to build this planter.


Here’s my son marking up the fence to the right size. This was also a good education for him. He learned to check things before grabbing it-so he knows to look for nails and other sharp objects on the fence. He also got to exercise math while measuring.

The next part is to cut the rest of the fences. I may cheat and cut these on weeknights. The goal is to build it so my wife can participate by painting it. We sourced some free paint from the city recycling center. Once painted, I need to put in any compost and soil I have in there. I will then cover it with a tarp or other material and just let it rest til we plant in the fall.

Also need to get some seeds planted so I can start them indoors. I plan to spend the bulk of my $30 in some irrigation eqpt. I don’t think that is even enough to buy the timer, but we’ll check for prices on that and get a better understanding of what needs to be purchased.

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