Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday Projects

As of August 5th, Glendale is extending the restrictions when it comes to outside water usage. Before we were limited to watering yards and plants before 10 am and after 6 pm, no washing cars or driveways, etc. Now watering is limited to before 9 am and after 6 pm on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and only for 10 minutes per area.

Believe me, I understand the reason for the for the restrictions and completely support it, but I also have a vegetable garden, plenty of flowers, and a few newly planted trees, all of which require quite a bit of water.

So this weekend I decided to alter one of the projects I was planning for the backyard. Originally I had planned on building a set of steps where the area you normally would place your foot would be open. It would create several four foot by one foot planters at varying levels. It would look amazing once there were plants filling each level, but it would also use quite a bit of water because the moisture would drain right into the ground. I did not want to give up the look of having different levels of plants or the idea of the steps, so I decided to build a set of steps that you could actually walk up where I could place a large number pots, which would require less water. I could still grow any kind of flowers or vegetables I wanted and it would actually be easier than growing them in the ground because I would be more in control of the soil.

When we went to the store to buy the step forms, I was blown away buy the $25 price tag of a four step form. So after borrowing a pen, I traced the form onto a $4 piece of particle board. I felt a little guilty, but come on, $25? I also decided not to put backs on the steps, which would not only save me money, but also allow larger pots to sit on each step and provide drainage. I walked out spending less than $15, which means I spent less than the cost of one step form to buy the materials for the whole set of steps.

The particle board was not the best idea since the steps will be outside, but if I prime them well enough, it should not be too much of a problem since we do not get much rain. Eventually I will paint it some bright color. I have been feeling orange a lot lately.

Once that is done, I have plenty of pots ready to decorate with once the seeds I planted sprout. I picked a few different types of herbs, marigolds, and California poppies.

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