I was excited last week to get my very first soil test results for my vegetable garden plots. I have never done a soil test before, but decided to do it “by the book” this year and dig up my various spots in the garden, mix them all together, and then send them to our local extension office to be analyzed. I was happy to find out that the test would be free thanks to a grant, and even happier that the results said my pH was good and that my organic matter was extremely good. They recommended adding in a boost of potassium and phosphorous, and so I’ve spent the last week trying to figure out alternative organic amendments that would do what their suggested fertilizers would do. I’m not an expert at this at all – I bought a bag of bonemeal for the phosporous, and am thinking muriate of potash for the potassium? Any ideas out there from people who have done this before?
My husband is on spring break this week, which means we have a little extra time to work on projects. As you’ve seen in previous pictures, my boys love to dig in the garden plots, but that’s going to have to stop soon once the plots are truly dedicated to gardens, so we decided to build them a sandbox to the right of our patio. I did the math in my head for a 6-inch deep 36 square foot sandbox, thinking it wouldn’t be that bad cost-wise . . . what, a little lumber, a little sand . . . and then I was at Wal-Mart looking at this tiny 50-lb bag of sand (it really is tiny – sand is heavy) that cost three dollars, and I realized that I would need about 30 of those bags, and suddenly my frugal sandbox didn’t look so frugal.
So I came home and just out of curiosity Googled play sand and found that the very same sized bags were sold at Lowes for $1.14 each. Excited, I tried to order 50 bags at such a good deal, and thankfully, the Internet stopped me and said I could only get 24 at that price, and could pick them up at our local Lowe’s. Just 30 minutes later they called and said that it was ready, so I drove our little 92 Honda Accord over there. “You don’t think it will be too heavy?” I asked my husband before I left.
“Nah,” he replied while he worked on his note cards. “Drug dealers do it all the time.”
Yup. So when the forklift came out with my huge pallet of sand, I started to get chatty with the Lowe’s employees. “We’re building a sandbox,” I explained cheerfully.
“That’s going to be one hell of a sandbox,” the associate replied.
After taking a look at my car, it was clear that sand did not weigh the same as, say, other illegal cargo by volume, and so I had to make two trips instead of one, hoping that the best deal on sand didn’t become the worst by breaking my axle, but so far it seems like everything is still working, and by the end of the week we hope to have a box constructed. I’m also hoping to do something in the area between the patio and the sandbox, but I’ll post on that later in the week as we put it in.
The coolest part of the whole sand deal was that I realized while I was at Lowe’s that the sand was selling for $4.57/bag in-store, and when I came home to look it up on the Internet again, the $1.14 price had disappeared. I know God gives us lots of gifts, but sometimes it’s the specific ones that mean the most.