Square Foot Garden update

After spending many hours on both Friday and Saturday. We officially have a garden.

We added 3 12 foot beds that are 2 foot wide each for a total of 72 squares.

The bed with the wire climber is 8 foot long and 2 foot wide. The smallest bed is 6 foot by 2 feet. This is an additional 28 squares. This brings the new bed total to 100 squares.

We add dirt…

In total we have 100 square feet along with 22 spots for tomatoes and a sweet potato bed.

I am very happy with the look and hopefully after our trip will start to grow lots and lots of veggies!

Square Foot Garden Update

We (yes all five of us) spent 8 hours working on the garden redo on Saturday. I am so excited to see all the changes finally coming together and starting to look like a neat and organized attempt.

First we started by putting down landscape fabric to help eliminate some weeds.

We added 3 new beds, 2 are 12 feet long and 2 foot wide while that third is 8 foot long and 2 foot wide.

Finally on Sunday, I started some green peppers, rainbow peppers and cucumbers inside  by the back door.

 

I am so excited to get this started!

5 Things Friday

  1.  I have been out of work for 2 days this week because of a stye that became infected and decided to spread to my entire face.
  2.  We have decided and completed a refinance of our mortgage. We dropped the interest rate by over 1 %. We are going to pay off credit card debit with what we decided to cash out. Our current goal is to pay a extra principal payment each month in order to complete pay off the house in 7 years instead of another 15.  One interest fact for me is that my first mortgage was at 9.99% and our current mortgage is 2.75%.
  3. We leave for Disney in 15 days!!!!!
  4. Our stimulus check was used for the following- 4 new pair of glass for the kids, the cost associated with redoing our square foot garden and paying for a condo on a NC beach for a week in July.
  5. Today, I have placed two orders one for lumber $602. and a second for dirt $550. Our trip to Lowes was an additional $135. All expenses for the garden!  I have increased the budget to $1500 after today.

SAVING ON SATURDAY-

This week we are again focusing on re-doing our square foot garden.  I am so excited that we have been able to save all of the dirt that has been ordered and put in our previous beds. We also have 2 large tomato beds, a sweet potato bed and 2 strawberry beds that have cost us absolutely nothing.  Our demolish phase is complete and next week we hope to build out all of our new boxes and get place and the garden part completed. This will allow us to plant the first few weeks of May!

 

Zach wanted his picture with all his hard work. He has even been working after school.

Saving on Saturday

Yesterday, I gave you the reason that I am updating and drastically changing the square foot garden. Today I am going to share a couple of pictures of our progress. 

The best part of these three new beds is total cost was $0.  The tin was salvaged serval years ago from a car shed that my brother was tearing down. The wood and screws were from the previous square foot garden beds which are about half way removed. I also re used pavers from the previous bed.  I should be able to grow a total of 22 tomato plants and enough sweet potatoes to last us an entire year with just these three beds.  This finally picture is just to show where we are at curently.

Lots more work and cost to follow but for the first 2 days of actually work we are at zero cost!

Square Foot Garden 5 Things Friday

This list is a little different as it is the reason that we are going to undertake the mass project of re-doing our square foot garden.  My goal is to use the same concept for square foot gardening just in a different way. The biggest difference will be that the garden boxes will not be on the ground instead they will be elevated.

  1. Prevent dogs and cats in the neighborhood from using the boxes as a rest area. Even Rugar is really sneaky in this. I am sure that is part of the reason some of the plant last summer did not survive.
  2. Expand the number of items that I am able to grow.  My plan is to reduce each box to a width of 2 feet. This will allow me to have easy access to both side and should provide an additional 50 square feet in the garden.
  3. Place weed cloth under all the boxes and remove as much grass as possible. By raising the height of the beds this will prevent lots of grass from ended up in each garden bed. It feels like we have more weeds and grass in our current square foot beds than we do growing in the area around it.  Because we are reusing most of the dirt, we also can remove lots of the weeds that are growing at grown level as well.
  4. Allow me to spend more time and energy in the garden without bending or sitting on the ground. This should be a huge benefit in year to come as the beds will be around waist height for me.
  5. Expand and arrange the growing season and spaces better. We hope to add a small growing tunnel in the fall. But we will be able to have several different varieties of peppers and beads without the worry of cross pollination.

Thursday Thoughts

  • Today is a remote learning day for both myself, Zach and Kendall. We are expecting serve weather from tropical storm Zeta to move through this afternoon. Zach is already enjoying watching the wind and rain bands move through. It is very different based on the fact that we are all working on school related task but at home. I will admit it takes the fun out of missing school but should make the schedule much easier to manage.
  • Following the storm today, it is suppose to turn much cooler.  With freezing temperatures on Sunday night and Monday night. We still have not turned on heat or air so I am hopefully to make it to at least Monday or Tuesday before needing to turn the heat on.  We are also going to have to harvest the remaining peppers and tomato from the garden. This is actually the longest that I can remember having items still growing.
  • November is a very expensive month for us. We have car insurance ($408.27), Microsoft renewal ($100), my web site renewal ($30) and the rest of Christmas presents.   Thankfully I have a ton of hours in Guam this month. I am hoping to cover most of our December Disney trip. A sad realization is that I receive a paycheck this Friday but will not receive another check until after Thanksgiving.
  • We survived our busiest week so far this year!!  I even have a list on the board of task to complete on Saturday.
  • Budget wise October has been a great month. We are at $250 for gas and $550 for groceries.  I am planning to hit my goal of paying of one credit card by the end of December.  We also should not use most of the grocery budget for November and December as our freezers are full. I am now looking a small holes such as soups for lunch and other convenient items. I have also restocked the paper supplies as well.

5 Things Friday

  1. My COVID test came back negative. This has been so stressful.  One thing that has really bothered me is the fact that we have mandated mask yet when completing contact tracing and talking about exposure, Mask DONT matter. Yeap the question is “Who have you been in closer than 6 feet contact with, with or without a mask?”
  2. Lily made another new recipe today #53 Chicken Florentine Mac and Cheese. We had to make several changes to it because we could not find the specific cheese she used but it was good!  Even Matt who does not like mac and cheese cleaned his plate.
  3. The weather has continued to be fall like which means a HUGE saving on our electric bill. If we can last a month without heat or air, it will reduce our electric bill by $100!  That is the current goal.
  4. I have focused this month on sticking to a budget and moving all excess money to our Disney Ticket fund. We need approximately  $600 to finish purchasing tickets.  My goal is to use all found money for this. Which means that if I forget to budget something like say the Amazon Prime membership. I either have to take money out of it or find it in other places.  Currently I am also trying to cover our second windshield of the year. As of today, we have $200 or 1/3 of what we need for ticket in the fund.  Which means if I can do the same we will be able to purchase these without using my Guam money! Even better both of these expenses have been covered. We are eating out less and purchasing less groceries. The fact that I am not driving to work for two weeks is also helping lower expenses.
  5. The square foot garden is hanging on. This week I have harvested green peppers, a orange pepper, pimentos and tomatoes.  I  can tell we are close to the end of the season as the tomatoes are small but still every little bit helps. I am also noticing that my sweet potato plants are starting to die out. My plan is to wait at least another week before digging them up!

5 Things Friday

  1. The weather has finally turned cooler this week. I turned off the air on Monday. The temperatures are going to take another cooler turn with highs on Sunday expected to be 63.
  2. Square foot garden- I pulled up 8 basil plants and hung in the building to start drying. I also bagged the ones that had been hanging since last fall.  I am not sure if we will use but for right now I want to save as much as possible. I am still getting a few tomato a week from the garden which is highly unusual for this late in September. Pimentos and peppers of several varieties are still growing. But by far the most exciting news of all is that we have sweet potato flowers!  I am going to leave these in the ground at least another couple of weeks before pulling up in hopes of even more flowers.
  3. Honesty disclaimer- I really debated sharing this so that is my reason for trying to hide it in number 3.  A coworker who I work in the same room with on a daily basis has tested positive for Covid-19. She texted me early this morning to let me know. I have been tested and will likely have results between Sunday and Tuesday. In the mean time, I have been advised to quarantine. The fear and stigma associated with this along with unreliable information is 100 times worse than even waiting to get my results. An example, when I spoke to my supervisor this morning, she stated that I did not need to get tested and did not need to quarantine. I chose to go ahead and get tested because of my Humira dose is due. By this afternoon, the story had changed to my co-worker could chose to get tested or just quarantine for 10 days while continuing to work remotely. But on the bright side, I will not be spending any money this weekend as I am stuck at home.
  4. My second job in Guam is starting to pick up. My goal is to work around 35 hours a week. So far I have been successful on scheduling around Zach’s baseball games.
  5. Lily will start Driver’s Education in 2 weeks!

5 Things Friday

  1. Zach starts his fall baseball season tomorrow with a pre-season tournament. This is a new team for him and lots of opportunity for growth.
  2. My personal saving challenge for the month is to save/find $369 to add one day to each of the kids tickets for December. So far I have $146 toward this goal.
  3. I am exhausted. I managed to work both of my jobs this week and I am starting to feel it. I am trying to keep my schedule a little bit flexible for Guam until getting a baseball schedule which means that I have schedule only 2 kids most night starting at 9pm.
  4. Zach and Kendall will start in person school next week on Monday and Tuesday. This will be an adventure for all. I am hopefully it will be easier to adjust than anticipated.
  5. The garden is continuing to produce just enough. We are harvesting basil, tomatoes, pimentos and peppers. I am excited to see more pepper flowers so maybe we can actually freeze some this year!