Dueling DIY – The Challenger’s Final Update

Six weeks ago, Sarah in Illinois and I started a Dueling DIY challenge. Our mission was to get our gardens in shape for the year through some friendly competition. Today, Sarah’s here with her final update on how she did. To see how we got here, check out all of our previous posts.

I have to admit, when I first made my list of things to finish for the challenge, I thought that I made it too easy on myself.

I saw Julia’s list and thought that I was sure to win.

However, what I learned was: most projects take longer than what I plan for, weather does not care what you have planned, and I procrastinate just as much as I did in high school when doing homework.

So as you can guess from what I have written so far, I did not completely finish everything on my list. But I sure made a valiant effort!

1. Make some kind of designated area (possibly raised bed) for annual vegetables such as asparagus and strawberries.

I call this 90% done. Everything is planted. Asparagus and strawberries are planted, rhubarb is in the ground and seeds and bulbs are planted for my cutting garden.

Raised beds made of barn board

For the borders I used old rough cut barn wood. We have a large pile of old wood out in the barn but I did not find enough long boards. So I am going to have to keep digging to find a couple more boards.

However, I am happy to have the two outside beds defined so that there is no fear of cutting too close with the mower.

2. Neaten and define north flower bed and add mulch.

Clean siding

Nothing new has been done here. Steve and I are debating on whether to buy a couple bags of mulch or dive right in and get a truck load.

Now that he is in the field all hours of the day, we still haven’t made the decision so the mulch didn’t get put on the flower bed. But I am still happy with how this flower bed is filling out.

Hydrangea mid-way through spring

3. Divide mums and spread around deck.

Mums around the edge of the deck

This is the first thing that I finished, and the mums are really taking off.

4. Make a designated gardening area complete with workbench.

This was my favorite project!

Potting bench

We were tearing out a room in our pole barn and so I had the countertop and the top shelf ready. All I had to do was make the framework.

Potting bench

I say that was “all I had to do” but designing the work bench from scratch was time-consuming. I knew I wanted a top shelf and a shelf underneath. I also knew I wanted a place to hang my tools.

Tools hanging on a potting bench

I used mostly older barn wood but a few pieces are newer pine so I used the darkest stain that I had on hand to try to blend the different woods together. I really could not be happier with the finished project!

Potting bench

So here is my final list:

  1. Make some kind of designated area (possibly raised bed) for annual vegetables such as asparagus and strawberries.
  2. Neaten, and define north flower bed and add mulch.
  3. Divide mums and spread around deck.
  4. Make a designated gardening area complete with workbench.

I won’t find out until Julia’s post to see how I fared in this competition, but I’m feeling kind of good about my odds!

I am so happy that we did this challenge. I guarantee if I didn’t have the constant competition in the back of my mind, I would not have gotten as much done as I did.

I would have made excuses about how I was tired, or how I had so many other things to do, and I would have avoided all of the hard work. But I am proud at how much I got done, and I am happy with my progress whether I “win” or not!

(It would be nice to win though!)

Okay. I’m impressed that Sarah can cross everything off her list. And that potting bench is awesome. I’ll be back on Friday with my final post in this Dueling DIY challenge.

5 thoughts on “Dueling DIY – The Challenger’s Final Update

  1. Way to go, Sarah!! Rah rah rah!!! You’ve done an awesome job. I love your potting bench. Will you be posting the plans? And how about some more kitten pix? XD

    • Thanks Jan! I had never thought of drawing up plans to follow. I will see what I can do.

      I will be sure to post a kitten update in my next post. They are becoming very mobile.

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