My Jesus look-alike with all the materials. The lumber totaled $11 and some change. Chicken wire for the bottom to keep out pesky moles was around $7.
Preparing and leveling the ground.
The chicken wire is under the cardboard. The cardboard will decompose back into the ground and while it's taking it's time doing this invasive weeds are bocked out and it was free and natural. Score!
Filling the bed with compost. Our city has an area for residents to get compost for free. Unfortunately, it was closed for the holiday weekend. My husband and I are not people. We had the time and energy to get the job done, so we paid about double what we would have. After the special topsoil was bought, we spent about $30 on "dark matter". I do have a compost pile of my own, although it is not very well maintained and has no usable "dark matter" as of late. We were both surprised at the quantity of "dark matter" we needed to fill the boxes.
All filled! We chose to go with an organic top soil that is best for vegetables. We learned that the top part should not be compacted to much. You should be able to push your finger to the third knuckle in easily.
Lastly, came the planting. What a breeze! We have a few herbs, lots of various peppers (we're a spicy family), a few different tomatoes, and my favorite: asparagus. Now the really hard part comes...the wait for nature to take it's course. We're not patient people you'll remember.
And that's it! I'll post pictures of the progress and harvest as we go! It really is a simple and enjoyable project. It's eco-friendly and will keep us eating healthy all summer long.