Bringing any or all of the following material is completely optional. I realize many of you just want to watch or perhaps help others. That is fine. My goal is to just demonstrate that making a raised bed or growing bucket is actually pretty easy. If after the workshop, you decide you still rather have someone else do it, I can refer you to people who build raised beds, etc. Hopefully, this Meetup will give you the confidence to start GryFying.
I plan on arriving at the meeting room about 9:15 to start setting up. Any volunteers to arrive early to help setup or cleanup afterwards would be greatly appreciated. Below I’ll also list tools required for the various tasks. I’ll be bringing the tools, but you have an extra drill, screwdriver, etc. you can bring that would be great. Some clean tarps to catch wood and plastic shavings and make cleanup easier would also be good.
Safety glasses and dust masks are always a good practice to use. We are only going to be drilling so risk is small, but always better to be safe than sorry. Bring them if you have them.
My preference is for everyone to go to locations mentioned to get the main items needed for their projects and bring them. I want everyone to see it’s really pretty easy to do this yourself. However, most of the hardware (screws, nuts, etc.) will be cheaper to buy as a group in bulk. I’ll send out a separate email to see if people would be interested in doing this.
Raised Beds (Square Foot Gardening)
Materials needed if buying a kit: Home Depot, Lowes, etc. have raised bed kits and they often go on sale about this time of year. Bring your kit and we can help you get the bulk of it assembled. Normally this involves screwing corner hardware to the supplied boards.
Materials Needed to make your own bed: For a typical 4’x4’x6” bed you need our 4 foot long 2”x6” boards. Can be fir (cheaper apx $3 each) or redwood (lasts longer apx $8 each). You can by two 8’ boards at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. and ask them to cut them in half for you. Get the straight boards if possible. You can also do other sizes and depths. We will mark where the screws go in class and drill pilot holes for you. I’ll send a follow-up email about the screws.
SFG lath grid.
For a typical 4’x4’ raised bed, you need six 4’ pieces of redwood lathe. Lowes has sections pre cut in 4’ lengths (apx 50 cents each). It is where I get mine from. Home Depot has 8’ lengths (in garden center) that you have to have them cut in half. We will drill the holes in them and assemble them in class. I’ll send a follow-up email about the nuts and bolts to use.
Materials Needed: Two 10’ sections of ½” EMT conduit found in electrical section of Home Depot, Lowes, etc. (less than $2 a section) This will be enough to make a single trellis in a variety of sizes. Measure how wide and high you want your trellis to be before coming to class. Three sections of pipe may be needed large trellises. I’ll have a conduit bender. I’ll send a follow-up email about set screw couplings. I’ll have a sample trellis in class where you can see how it sits on rebar and practice tying the netting on. (you can purchase two 2’ sections of ½”rebar (apx $2 each) and the trellis netting (apx $7 enough for two trellises typically)
You can get the buckets for growing from a variety of sources. Home/Lowes have buckets for sale for about $5 each. However, if you go to just about any donut, deli, bakery, restaurant, etc. You can usually get food grade buckets in a variety of sizes for free. (some places may charge a small amount). Bakeries are really good because they get their cream and fruit fillings in these large buckets. A store bakery probably goes through 5-10 buckets a week. Just ask nicely for them to save a few for you with lids and you should have no problem getting what you need. There are three and five gallon sizes. The 3 gallon are same diameter just a little shorter either is fine to use.. I like the 5 gallons a little better for tomatoes, because they can benefit from a deeper root system, but not critical.
Self contained Single bucket system.
In addition to the above You will need one cheap plastic colander for each bucket. The colander should be large enough to cover the bottom of bucket when upside down. It’s ok if it is slightly larger, we can trim it down to fit in class. Check the $1 stores or $1 sections of stores like target for these. I’ll send a follow-up email about the 1” fill pipe used for a fill tube and optional tubing for overflow holes.
Rain Gutter Grow System.
You may want to choose this option if you have room for 4 or more buckets in a row. Bring your buckets and we will drill the 2-7/8” hole in them. You place a 3” net cup (about 50 cents from a local hydroponics store. There are several in the area.). If you have not see my pictures of these, they sit in a section of rain gutter capped on both ends that acts as a water reservoir. The water wicks up from the net cups and keeps the soil at an even moisture. The rain gutter is framed with 2x4s. It is beyond the scope of this class to do the rain gutter portion of the project but it only requires a standard drill/screwdriver to assemble. The 2-7/8” hole saw is about $25 to purchase, so we will be cutting holes the holes in the buckets in class.
Unfortunately, I think we will not have time to address irrigation in this workshop. If there is interest, I’ll schedule a separate class just on irrigation as soon as I can schedule a venue.