So you have little space, little time, little money and you still want to garden. Or maybe you would like to add a great looking focal point to your existing garden or landscape to grow
something unique. Even better, maybe you know of someone who still likes to garden but can't get out or handle as much of the physical activity anymore.
Here is a great solution to all three! Create your own Pallet Straw Bale Crate Garden. It's attractive, simple to build, and best of all, low or no cost to make.
With a single pallet, (3) 2x4x8's, a bale of straw, and a bag or two of soil and compost – you can create an instant garden space that can provide fresh vegetables or flowers all summer long.
You can purchase all the materials you need for under $15.00 – or build for virtually free using pallets and scrap lumber. We made a few single bale boxes last week for our garden – and will use them along our fence row to grow our cucumbers in. You can also double the measurements to make a double bale box and plant to your heart's content.
The straw bale crates have a lot of built-in advantages! They are easy to maintain – with little weeding ever needed. The 2' high design lends itself to less stooping and bending while tending, and the combination straw, compost and soil make for a great instant growing medium – without the hassle of digging up the earth.
The best part of all – at the end of the season – you can add all of the contents to the compost pile –or start a compost pile right in the pallet box to have fresh compost next year when you're ready to grow again!
Here is how we made ours:
(1) Straw Bale
(4) 2 x 4 x 20"
(4) 2 x 4 x 44"
(1) Pallet - for vertical boards - be sure to use untreated pallets to be "food safe"
(1) bag of compost – substitute your own for free material
(1) bag of topsoil – substitute your own for free material
***The straw bales we use measure 20" wide, 18" high and a little less than 46" long. Bales can vary in length - so be sure to measure your bale to adjust the length and width of frame boards. You can also reference our previous post's on How To Disassemble A Pallet Quickly, and How To Make Your Own Compost for more info.
Building The Garden:
Assemble 2 rectangles from your 2x4's – screwing or nailing together 2 of the 20" pieces and 2 of the 44" pieces. Once you have both rectangles together – use your pallet boards to attach vertically to connect the two rectangles to create your straw bale box.
We cut our pallet slat boards into 18" lengths, (we got about 2 boards for each slat) and then screwed them into the inside of the two frames to form the crate. The spacing is up to you – we put about 4" between each board for ours - we wanted the look of an "old-time" crate.
Planting The "Garden"
Now it's easy – place the bale down inside the frame – you may need to wiggle a little and cut a little off here and there to get it to fit depending on the size of the bale.
Simply use a sharp knife or blade to cut out your planting holes - we went about 8" deep and 5" around– filling them with a good mixture of garden soil and compost. Plant, cover up, water – and the garden is in! Depending on what you plant – you can fit in 5 to 6 tomato plants, or a combination of pepper and tomato plants per bale, etc. You can plant a little closer than traditional garden rows because of the raised beds. Only your imagination is the limit to what you want to grow!
You will get some compression of the bale as the season progresses – the bale will slowly decompose, giving even more nutrients to the plants. Your plant and roots will thrive in the soil, compost and straw because the garden is off the ground - there will be very little weeds that develop, and should be easy with the added height to pick and maintain.
End of the Season :
If you have a compost bin already set up – you can certainly take the contents and throw them into the pile. The decomposed straw and soil mixture are great for a pile – adding a lot of carbon material. If not – use the crate box as a compost bin! Mix up the bale and contents right in the pallet box structure – and start adding some shredded fall leaves, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps , lawn clippings and more. By next spring – you will have enough compost made to use in the next bale for planting, with extra if you need it.
So how about trying a straw bale pallet crate garden this year! And if you have a neighbor or relative that loves garden but finds it difficult now – it's a great gift to let them have their very own garden
Happy Gardening - Jim and Mary
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If you are in need of new flooring but don't have much money to spend (or even if you do) then this fits the bill! I created this floor out of brown paper, Elmers glue, stain and
polyurethane. It was easy to do (albeit time consuming) and is very durable. This room is 10 X 12 and cost about $80, but future rooms will cost about $30 since I have plenty of leftover supplies. Click through to read the tutorial....http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2013/03/paper-bag-floors-a-tutorial/
I saw a version of this wreath on Pinterest awhile back and was so inspired to put my spin on it so armed with pine cones spray paint and my trusty glue gun oh yes, and my dollar tree ornaments I went to work.................
The Opossum is the only marsupial (pouched animal) native to the United States. It has a white face with 50 pointy teeth, grayish-white loose fur and a scaly long tail (used as a fifth
limb). Adults measure about 2.5 feet in length and 1 foot in height. They look like big Rats, but are not related to them in any way, but are closely related to the Kangaroo & Koala. Females can give birth up to twice a year (typically 5-8 in a litter). These babies are very tiny, about the size of honeybees. They will immediately crawl into the mother's pouch after birth, where they continue to develop (usually about 4 months of age when they are ready to leave the pouch). Opossums are scavengers and eat almost anything, including fruits & vegetables, snails/slugs, snakes, a wide variety of insects, garbage and dead animals of all types. They also catch and eat rats & mice, in some way they help maintain a clean & healthy environment and have a naturally high level of immunity to most diseases, including rabies, but can carry fleas ,as do most domestic animals. Opossums are nocturnal and typically go about their quiet task late at night. They are also excellent tree climbers but cannot jump and sometimes get trapped in trash cans and other containers. Opossums do not dig holes/destroy properties and are non-territorial. They are always on the move and adapt to any environment where food, water & shelter exist. They live in hollow logs, attics, crawl spaces, pipes and ready made burrows. Opossums may drool, growl and show their 50 teeth when frightened, but in reality are non-aggressive and prefer to avoid confrontation, however, never try to grab one, they can bite. During cases of extreme fear of being harmed or attacked (unable to flee), the Opossum will collapse and "play dead", they become stiff, eys closed or half closed, their mouths will gape open (teeth bared), tongue extended and foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands; mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. This physiological response is involuntary (like fainting), rather than a conscious act. This condition will last 40 minutes to 4 hours and most preadtors will abandon their attack, once the Opossum is thought to be dead. In the case of baby Opossums, however, their brain does not always react this way at the appropriate moment, and therfore they often fail to "play dead" when threatened. If you do see an Opossum, just leave it alone, it will go away or you can always call your local rescue group or a professional Pest Control Company for help if you don't want them around or if they are trapped (they will catch & release them) ;Trying to scare it will just make it "play dead". Some other tips to avoid having Opossums around your house include: Keeping lids on garbage cans, picking up fallen fruit, putting away pet food at night and close potential entrance points into your home.