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What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

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What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  bvarbel on 1/15/2013, 10:46 am

I'm not handy. I am almost done with the "new" book. I went to home depot yesterday and told them I need 4 wooden boards that are 6 inches high and 48 inches long. The man in lumber said that the 6" board is really 5.5" and he showed me with a tape measure.

I was so confused. I know there are 8" boards, but those are too big, no?

Also, I don't know anything about brackets. Why can't I just hammer a bunch of nails into the frame.

Also, how do I keep the price down for the soil additives. I am composting, but that's nowhere near ready. Also...dividing 8 cubic feet by 3 gives an unround number. I can buy 2 cu ft of any of the components. Having to buy more, leaves me with waste.

Any help would be appreciated. I'd like to go out and build this thing this week. Any help on keeping the cost of soil down would be appreciated as well.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  Hoggar on 1/15/2013, 11:43 am

I just use the 2" x 8" boards which are actualy 1 1/2" x 7 1/4" x 8',
The only measurement that actually is what it says, is the footage. But It does vary slightly around the country. Most mills belong to some sort of grading organization, which tells you the sizes dressed lumber needs to be. NELMA (Northeast Lumbermans Association). standards a dry piece of 2" x 8" should be dressed to 1 1/2" x 7 1/4", but a green piece (not dry) is dressed to 1 9/16" x 7 1/2". A 1" x 8" dry is 3/4" x 7 1/4" and green 3/4" x 7 1/2". A 1" x 4" dry is 3/4" x 3 1/2" and green 3/4" x 3 9/16".

Just cut 2, 8' boards in half and and make your boxes. You don't have to fill your boxes to the top just put in your 6 inches of MM and call it good. As for mixing your own MM just stay as close to the instructions in the book as possible, there is never any waste when using gardening supplies, just stow them and use them as needed. I gave up on mixing my own and started buying it from a local supplier. Its a wash in my area as far as cost.

You don't need to buy brackets I use Plumbers tape and cut it to length then I use Deck screws to put every thing together.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  camprn on 1/15/2013, 12:20 pm

Because the Mel's Mix settles I usually go with the 8" boards. They sell them in 8 foot or 12 foot lengths. They will cut them for you at HD. So...

I want to build a 4' X 4' bed. I buy two 2x8 eight foot long. Don't forget your deck screws.

The best way to keep the cost of making the mix down is finding free compost.
Look on Craig's list for dairy or horse farms, goat farms, chicken farms. Call them up and ask if they have free or inexpensive composted manure.

The absolute worst way to keep costs down is to use less types of compost then recommended. You NEED 5 DIFFERENT TYPES of compost to go into your mix.

There will be no waste; you will use all your mix in the garden.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  quiltbea on 1/15/2013, 12:34 pm

bvarbel....Welcome to the forum. You'll have lots of questions and the search feature on the left will help if you just type in a word or two.
The brackets strengthen your corners so they don't come apart but of course, you can do with or without them. I would definitely get the brackets and deck screws. That soil is a lot of weight pressing outwards against the boards.
Ask for brackets at the building store. The package will show you how to add them.

See the smaller brackets I screwed inside this cold frame? I put two small ones at each corner. They come in all sizes.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  bnoles on 1/15/2013, 12:38 pm

Hi bvarbel and welcome to the SFG forum.

I totally agree with everyone else in recommending the 2" X 8" to build your frames with. I also agree with following Mel's recipe mix for the best results possible. Do not fret over having too much as you can always store the excess to add to the box when you are doing new plantings as detailed out by Mel in his book. Yes... it is somewhat expensive in the beginning, but keep in mind this is a one time only investment and you will reap dividends aplenty in the future.

Good luck and keep us posted on how things are progressing.

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Awesome

Post  bvarbel on 1/15/2013, 12:47 pm

That advice to buy 8" boards helps immensely. I realize this is a 1 time investment per box. Thank you again. I'm going to put this together this week.

Brian..

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  Lindacol on 1/15/2013, 1:02 pm

If you just hammer in nails instead of using a screws you will likely split the wood(and bend a lot of nails). A drill also comes in handy for drilling starter holes and putting the screws in. I would suggest some sort of corner brackets - there are many different types.

Also if you want to make a trip down the hill to Bloomington, just north of Riverside, I have some nearly done compost that I would be willing to share with you to help you get started. And an unlimited supply of goat manure mixed with some alfalfa to start your own compost pile.

Linda

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  camprn on 1/15/2013, 1:03 pm

I would like to amend the statement 'a one time investment'. Yes, it's true this is the box that will hold your garden,if you use pine boards, those should last about 5 years. If you start your own compost, you wont have to buy more. BUT, you will need to add compost to the garden at each planting and every year.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  bvarbel on 1/15/2013, 1:11 pm

@Lindacol wrote:
Also if you want to make a trip down the hill to Bloomington, just north of Riverside, I have some nearly done compost that I would be willing to share with you to help you get started. And an unlimited supply of goat manure mixed with some alfalfa to start your own compost pile.

Linda

That is very generous of you. I know where Bloomington is, I used to go to school in the Fontana Unified School District 30 years ago :-) I will keep you in mind. I will probably just buy the 5 types of compost just to get started...although I did start a bin a couple months ago with kitchen waste and lots of leaves....its a bit slow going. I expect more when it warms up a bit and I can add some green waste as well. I should have compost for subsequent additions to the garden though.


Last edited by camprn on 1/15/2013, 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed quote box)

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  Kelejan on 1/15/2013, 2:11 pm

Welcome, bvarbel happy hi

As you need to purchase most of your compost so that you can get started at once, please read the ingredients on each different bag. The makeup of the contents vary greatly, and you don't want too much peat or fillers as it will throw off your Mel's Mix and give you disappointing results.
If you read Compost 101 on this site, you will learn a lot from all the comments our members make . Many of them write about the mistakes they made, so we can learn from them instead of making our own expensive errors.
On the other hand, any mistakes made by you, you will remember. I hope. Very Happy
If you have any shortage of MM ingredients, the one thing you should not skimp on is compost, because there is no nutrition in vermiculate and not very much in peat. I know from experience about skimping on compost because that is what I did my first year.
Better to have one box mixed good, than two or more only half done.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  Turan on 1/15/2013, 2:26 pm

@Lindacol wrote:

Also if you want to make a trip down the hill to Bloomington, just north of Riverside, I have some nearly done compost that I would be willing to share with you to help you get started. And an unlimited supply of goat manure mixed with some alfalfa to start your own compost pile.

Linda

glad you\'re here bvarbel

If you can, take Lindacol up on her generous offer of fresh living compost, or any other you can find that is similar. Home grown compost seems worth much more than the abused bagged stuff at big box stores.

Don't fuss too much about your boxes. If you look around you will find here working examples ranging from old cabinets laying on their backs to cement blocks to mortored bricks to stacked 2X4s to the raised bed kits found at HD. A lot of people find a 3' width is easier than 4', depends on arm length and flexibility. They all hold soil and can be divided into rough sq feet.

Good luck and enjoy flower

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  CindiLou on 1/15/2013, 2:51 pm

I would advise you to get the compost Linda has. Homemade compost works so much better than the store bought!

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  camprn on 1/15/2013, 5:07 pm

@bvarbel wrote:..although I did start a bin a couple months ago with kitchen waste and lots of leaves....its a bit slow going. I expect more when it warms up a bit and I can add some green waste as well. I should have compost for subsequent additions to the garden though.
If you want more information on how to get your compost going check out the Compost 101 thread in the Compost subforum.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  donnainzone5 on 1/15/2013, 5:57 pm

bvarbel,

Your general area (Corona/Bloomington/Ontario) is an area where much livestock is grown. Why not check around? You should be able to obtain cheap or free horse, cow, sheep, or even turkey manure.

Then there are always the ubiquitous chicken, steer, and mushroom composts, typically available at plant nurseries and sometimes even Big Box stores.

Also, there's a U-Line facility in Corona or Ontario that sells coarse-grade vermiculite in 4-cubic-foot bags. Check out the website, evaluate the pricing, order ahead to save shipping costs, and pick the bags up the next day!

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  Triciasgarden on 1/15/2013, 9:55 pm

I agree with getting the compost from Linda. Something I have done to get manure is take some black garbage bags and a shovel and go to someone who has farm animals and ask if you can have some of their manure. You don't have to have a truck to get what you need. Good luck and welcome to the forum!

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  donnainzone5 on 1/16/2013, 10:24 am

I didn't mean to exclude lindacol's compost. I just wasn't certain how many different materials it contained.

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  Turnip on 1/27/2013, 9:35 pm

Now that we are talking compost...I just took you all's advise and looked on Craigslist. Free horse manure. Is that something I should get in on? I have a compost bin and plenty of 'browns' but need more 'greens'..there is a goat farm behind me and I plan on talking to my neighbor about getting old goat/sheep/chicken/geese bedding and/or manure. If I can get that combo, plus my varied leaf 'browns', do I need to add anything more to get my own blend for the MM?

I will also start up a worm box..I need to do a little more research on it then get the red worms..

I'm new to the SFG method and am trying to get the compost started at home so I can be ready later on. I am currently buying the various bags of stuff, besides using my existing browns. I just bought the house, so everything is in the planning stage!

Thanks!

Turnip

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  walshevak on 1/28/2013, 6:06 am

If you can get enough of the listed variety of manures, bedding, yard and kitchen trimmings, and browns all composted you have a good compost for your beds. Happy gardening

Kay

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Re: What do I tell the folks at home Depot I need for my Frame

Post  Turan on 1/28/2013, 12:44 pm

@Turnip wrote:Now that we are talking compost...I just took you all's advise and looked on Craigslist. Free horse manure. Is that something I should get in on?
Turnip

The only concern about the manures and bedding is if there is any persistent herbicides. Hay seems to be the biggest source, so you need to ask if the hay fed had been sprayed. Clues to look for are if there is any broad leaf weed growth on the old bedding pile.

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