Food / Fun

Building a Raised Bed Garden in 147 Easy Steps

  1. Decide you want a garden in your backyard.
  2. Wait approximately 47 weeks, until your dad sends you a text message telling you that you need to do it now or not at all.
  3. Wait two more weeks.
  4. Choose a Saturday when you and your husband aren’t cooking dinner for 2 million people.
  5. On that Saturday, spend approximately 6 minutes researching how to build raised bed gardens online.
  6. Dress like a homeless person. This won’t make sense now, but just wait.
  7. Drive to Home Depot.
  8. Spot a hipster couple in the parking lot.
  9. Look around to see if you’ve mistakenly driven to Austin.
  10. You haven’t.
  11. Point out hipster couple to your husband, who scoffs because they are driving a Mercury Cougar. He says they are not hipster.
  12. Have a philosophical discussion about what it means to be “hipster”.
  13. Get out of the car and go inside Home Depot.
  14. Wander the lumber aisles with wide eyes so that every Home Depot employee in a six square mile area hones in on you to ask if you need help.
  15. Wave them away and pretend like you know what you’re doing.
  16. Find the untreated cedar that you want.
  17. Let your eyes bulge out at the price.
  18. Have a 10 minute “discussion” with your husband about how much wood you need to build two 4×6 beds.
  19. Realize that you sound like a couple of nerds.
  20. You are.
  21. Don’t care.
  22. Keep “discussing” until you both realize that he’s thinking about area instead of perimeter.
  23. Feel victorious.
  24. Realize that your 12 inch tall bed is going to be too short.
  25. Go back to the drawing board. More discussion.
  26. Get all the wood that you need, including treated 4×4 posts because you can’t stomach paying 30 dollars for one cedar 4×4.
  27. Wheel your cart back to the giant saw area, where an employee  insinuates that you’re old.
  28. Be offended.
  29. Realize that the employee isn’t wearing hearing protection when he operates the saw.
  30. Squelch the desire to lecture him on his hearing, thus proving his point that you are an old woman.
  31. Collect all your wood on your rolling cart.
  32. Realize that you have some other, smaller, things that you want to get and you probably should have gotten those first.
  33. Have another “discussion” about what size screws to get.
  34. Listen as the same “young” employee from the saw lectures you on how long the screws should be.
  35. Smile politely.
  36. Buy what you want when he walks away.
  37. Push your cart over to the other side of the store so that your husband can get a replacement plug for the extension cord that he accidentally hacked off when he was trimming your bushes. He calls the piece “a female” part.
  38. Giggle a little and then be depressed that such a term exists and was probably created by a man.
  39. Wait in front of the faux hardwood floors.
  40. Try to manipulate the heavy boxes so you can see where the faux wood was made.
  41. You can’t.
  42. Home Depot employees can smell your failure and descend upon you with offers to help. Wave them away and stand like you’re bored.
  43. Start chatting with young trendy (non-hipster) guy who wants to schedule a designer to come out to your home to help you think about your “dream” kitchen.
  44. Notice that, although he introduced himself as Logan, his temporary Home Depot name tag says “Aaron”.
  45. Be stupid and don’t think that is weird.
  46. When your husband walks up, you convince him that this is a great opportunity.
  47. Give Aaron/Logan your address and contact information, including address, phone number, and email. He also heard the entire discussion about when both of you will be at home and (more importantly) when both of you will not be at home.
  48. Don’t worry about that.
  49. Note that he says he’ll call you in an hour.
  50. Check out at the front of the store.
  51. Forget that you meant to buy a tarp.
  52. Run like a banshee to the paint section and find a tarp.
  53. Run like a banshee back to the checkout counter to make it just before they’re finished checking out your husband.
  54. Wheel your project out to your CRV.
  55. See another hipster couple.
  56. Slap yourself in the face to see if you’re dreaming.
  57. You aren’t.
  58. Ride back home.
  59. Unload the wood in the backyard by  throwing it haphazardly wherever it lands. Don’t stack it in a pile like a sane person.
  60. Go inside to research where to buy dirt.
  61. Eat a banana.
  62. Contemplate taking a nap.
  63. Resist the urge to take a nap.
  64. Pinch yourself to stay awake.
  65. Pat yourself on the back for proactively asking your friend two weeks ago where he got his dirt.
  66. Locate the  place in Plano that sells dirt by the “cubic yard”.
  67. Think for 1 second about whether your car can fit a “cubic yard”.
  68. Decide that it can.
  69. Drive there.
  70. Nearly miss it.
  71. Swerve across lanes to turn in.
  72. Drive up to the payment booth.
  73. Tell the woman that you want to put two cubic yards of dirt into your CRV.
  74. Assure her that you have a tarp so your car doesn’t get dirty.
  75. Watch her look at you like you are crazy.
  76. Remember that you might be dressed like a homeless person.
  77. Take her suggestion to buy bags of dirt/compost instead.
  78. Lay the tarp down in the back still because, well, you’re transporting dirt.
  79. Walk over to the bags of dirt.
  80. Lift one up.
  81. Get a hernia.
  82. Drop it on the ground.
  83. Lay your head on the bags of  dirt and despair that you have to carry 24 of these and put them in your car.
  84. Perk up and heave the bag of dirt into your arms again.
  85. Waddle over to the car like you have something very uncomfortable shoved up a very uncomfortable spot.
  86. Ignore the construction workers that are staring at you.
  87. Try to throw the bag into the car.
  88. Catch it as it slides to the ground.
  89. Using a squat position, heave the bag into the car.
  90. Rejoice that bag 1 has been completed.
  91. Repeat 24 more times (okay, maybe 10 more times because your husband is a beast and has no issues picking up giant bags of dirt and tossing them into your CRV)
  92. Stop on bag number 24 because you notice. that your CRV has become a low-rider. (See Figure #1)
  93. Pay the lady. She gives you an “I told you so” look.
  94. Don’t care.
  95. Realize that Aaron/Logan hasn’t called you yet.
  96. Drive home…slowly. Any bump could break your axle in two.
  97. Advise your husband to take the overdrive off for this haul.
  98. Feel proud that you know what overdrive is.
  99. Park in the driveway.
  100. Eat another banana.
  101. Get on facebook.
  102. Tell your husband to quit knitting and that there’s lumber laying all over the backyard that needs to be constructed into an actual shape.
  103. Decide where to construct your garden by taking 3 seconds to talk about it.
  104. Start digging post holes.
  105. Realize that you’re going to have to dig to China because the posts are really tall.
  106. Come up with a brilliant idea to have them sticking out of the top of the beds so that you can lay a tarp over them when you need to. Also, let’s be honest. It’s less work for you.
  107. Dig shallower post holes.
  108. Hold the screws for your husband while he operates the drill.
  109. Talk about how good it looks.
  110. Realize that Aaron/Logan still  hasn’t called yet.
  111. Panic.
  112. Convince yourself that Aaron/Logan was a scammer who only wanted to find out when you wouldn’t be home.
  113. Call Home Depot to see if they know about Aaron/Logan and whether he’s a legitimate employee or not.
  114. They do. He is.
  115. Still be suspicious.
  116. Go back out to help your husband.
  117. When the first bed is completed, talk about how good it looks.
  118. Fight the urge to lay down- there is another bed that needs building.
  119. Dig post holes for the second bed.
  120. Have another “discussion” about how the wood fits together.
  121. Screw the boards together.
  122. Realize that you still got it wrong.
  123. Don’t care.
  124. Remember what you read about lasagna gardens and preventing weeds. Remember that you were supposed to bring newspaper home from work.
  125. You didn’t.
  126. Have a sudden stroke of genius about all of those sensitive documents that are sitting in your office waiting to be shredded.
  127. Grab them.
  128. Lay them on the floor of the bed. (See Figure #2)
  129. Laugh about how your mortgage documents are going to be worm food and how robbers, especially Aaron/Logan, would never suspect that your social security number lays below your raised bed garden.
  130. Try not to think about Aaron/Logan.
  131. Layer some cardboard down next. Now it’s time for the dirt.
  132. Pull your poor car around the back and start your dirt carrying waddle again.
  133. Decide that you’re a better dirt pourer than dirt carrier.
  134. Tell your husband that.
  135. Start dumping the dirt into the bed.
  136. Be amazed at how rich and wonderful it looks.
  137. Start getting excited about your garden.
  138. Ask your husband to take a picture of you dumping dirt into the bed.
  139. Realize that you’ve been dressed like a homeless woman all day. (See Figure #3)
  140. Don’t care.
  141. With your husband, dump 20 bags of dirt into the first raised bed.
  142. Realize that you’ve run out of sensitive documents and cardboard and you won’t be able to complete the second bed.
  143. Secretly rejoice that this is the case.
  144. Go inside and lay down.
  145. Two weeks later, write a blog about this experience.
  146. Realize that the second bed still isn’t finished.
  147. Don’t care.
Figure #1

Figure #1

Figure #2

Figure #2

Figure #3

Figure #3

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