This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

What Should We Build?

July 28th, 2009

Earlier this summer I won a $100 Home Depot gift card from Colleen over at In the Garden Online. I can’t decide what new garden project to use it for.
Originally I though I’d build a new raised bed. I would like one that’s at least 18 inches tall and 10 feet long and 4 feet wide, this would expand my gardening area by 40 sq feet. I could grow a lot more vegetables in an additional 40 sq feet (perhaps sweet corn)?
Mr Chiots and I have also considered building a Warre hive. We are hoping to get yet another hive of bees next spring and we really want to try the Warre top bar method for managing one of our hives.
a big thanks to Mike Grenville for letting me use his photo Our New Bee Hive.
Mr Chiots has also been wanting to build me a potting bench to put out back for all of my repotting efforts. I have a small plastic folding table that I usually use for such tasks (or just the wheelbarrow if I’m too lazy to get out the table).
I can’t really decide which project I want to make, they’re all something we would love to have. Since I can’t decide I figured I’d turn you, vote in the poll for the project you think would we should use our gift card for.

Which would you would choose and why?

17 Comments to “What Should We Build?”
  1. Mangochild on July 28, 2009 at 5:31 am

    I voted for the potting bench. Seed starting is the start of the garden, whatever size it may be. Having that part be even a bit easier, then, makes the entire garden experience a bit easier. Plus, potting can definitely be a messy process, and having things be organized and ready at hand would make it more efficient in those busy days.
    Yes, you can use almost anything, and you have the plastic table, but the potting bench would be something that is really yours. Extra garden space is nice, but without a good way to tend/start it, it could possibly seem a bit overwhelming…
    Okay, there’s my thoughts for what its worth – it’ll be interesting to read what others think. And what you ultimately choose – any one of these will be such a help. Lucky you for winning!
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..A Look At My Front Yard =-.

    Reply to Mangochild's comment

  2. Christine on July 28, 2009 at 5:40 am

    I voted for the bee hive. Although I also thought the potting bench would be lovely, the potting bench can wait for the moment, as you have a mini set up going. I too use a little bench & I must admit it is hard. I voted for the bees, because If you don’t have a hive next spring, they will not wait for you.Good luck with your decision, as I feel it will be a tricky one. :)

    Reply to Christine's comment

  3. kristin on July 28, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Well, I would always go with anything that would allow you to grow your own sweet corn.
    .-= kristin´s last blog ..Breaking News =-.

    Reply to kristin's comment

  4. Chicago Mike on July 28, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I would go for the 18″ raised bed. The depth would allow not just sweet corn, but would allow some really great root vegetables. You have a table (which is probably easy to move) already and you have split the hive this year so I would be tempted to leave the bees alone for a year.

    Just my thoughts.
    .-= Chicago Mike´s last blog ..Thanks Susy! =-.

    Reply to Chicago Mike's comment

  5. Dave on July 28, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I vote for either the raised beds or the potting bench. Both would be handy!
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Taming The Morning Glory =-.

    Reply to Dave's comment

  6. KitsapFG on July 28, 2009 at 9:14 am

    New raised bed. As noted by others your hives were recently split and seem to be in good order, and you have a make shift potting bench already. I would go with the increased food production – of course that is almost always my bias!

    Reply to KitsapFG's comment

  7. Becca on July 28, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I would go with the raised bed. The beehive could be built anytime of the year, and since you have other options for the potting table, its not an immediate need. Fall is the best time for prepping the garden anyway.

    I would warn you that if you build the bed out of cedar, it will cost more than $100. We built a 4×10 (8 inches tall but double digging down about a foot) in February and the materials cost almost $200. I did install some pipes for making a hoop over the top though. That means I can have lettuce and greens way past the first frost, and the soil warms up sooner in the spring so I can plant my tomato plants outside 2 weeks before the first frost and not be too concerned when we get an ice storm and 4 inches of snow.

    Of course, at my house, adding 40sq feet of garden = double the garden space, that’s some major motivation for my vote.
    .-= Becca´s last blog ..Evil Final Exam =-.

    Reply to Becca's comment

  8. Mr. Chiots on July 28, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Just a note… be sure to place your vote in the poll that is in the sidebar on the right of this page.

    Reply to Mr. Chiots's comment

  9. Seren Dippity on July 28, 2009 at 10:53 am

    This is hard. A new bed is always welcome, but I think I vote for the potting bench. Things have been so much easier and more organized since getting mine. DH built mine before I started veggie gardening because I do a lot of houseplants. Truthfully, I hadn’t gotten out of the small space “condo” mentality I had before moving to our house with all the land and so a space just for my planting and potting seemed like such a luxury. I think that it was my potting bench that propelled me into seed starting and then veggie beds.
    If you have a place for a permanent potting bench set up, you can make it a beautiful part of your patio/deck/yard. Pretty bins for the different soil mixes, hooks for your hand tools etc. And it looks so much nicer than a plastic bucket and rigged table that you tend to want to “put away” when company arrives. I have a shelf above mine that is my plant “hospital” for things I’m rooting or houseplants I’m nursing back to health. I also have a cedar shelving unit close by that I store my empty pots on in a decorative way. Bins of different rocks, soil amendments and tools have made things so much more organized. My potting bench was a major improvement in working with my plants – container plants AND gardens!

    Reply to Seren Dippity's comment

  10. lee on July 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I say potting bench. Your back will thank you later.

    Reply to lee's comment

  11. warren on July 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I’d vote bees of course…mainly because I like bees but also because Warren would like to see the folks at Chiot’s run blog about the Warre hive next summer!

    Reply to warren's comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm

      Ulterior motives, I like it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Les Burkholder on July 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I voted for the new bee hive for selfish reasons. I’m also interested in the “Warre” hive and would like to see how this unit works out.
    the Raised bed and potting table are worthwhile too, but these can be built anytime whilr the new hive needs to be started this next spring.
    Just my thoughts…..

    Reply to Les Burkholder's comment

    • Chicago Mike on July 28, 2009 at 6:48 pm

      My thought was the hive could be built any time from now to next spring, as the potting bench or bed could be, but you could use the raised bed as a compost bin this fall and winter as well.
      .-= Chicago Mike´s last blog ..Thanks Susy! =-.

      Reply to Chicago Mike's comment

  13. Lee on July 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I would list on Freecycle that you could use some scrap lumber and see if some comes your way. I vote for the hives.

    Reply to Lee's comment

    • Susy on July 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm

      Great idea! We have some cedar leftover from another project, we could use that. We also have a lumber reclaiming business in town that I keep thinking about calling to see if they have any extra lumber they’d sell me cheaply.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Kelly on July 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I think all of those ideas sound wonderful – I suppose $100 won’t cover them all…..bummer! Congrats on winning the card though – very cool and you are SO deserving!
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Curing Rett Syndrome: How do we get there? =-.

    Reply to Kelly's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Corn on the Cob = Summertime

Here in the Midwest (NE Ohio to be exact) the first real day of the summer is the day you...