Zero-Spend Garden (ZSG): 40 sq. ft. for $7

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any progress with you, mostly because I’ve been rehearsing with the hilarious and talented ladies of Size Eight for our raucous performance at last Friday’s Milwaukee Comedy Festival. It was a great performance, but Saturday I was ready to jump back into working on the back yard!

So our latest ZSG project, which we’ve been working slowly but surely on for the last few weeks has been to:
1) Remove the dilapidated chain link fence from the alley side of the wood fence,
2) Remove the scraggly bush from the corner of the lot,
3) Replant the corner post and rearranging the fencing to maximize our yard space.

The red circle in the photo below shows the section of fence we wanted to move.

But the first step was to clean up the alley side of the fence…

Here are some “before” shots of the alley side taken prior to starting:

The ugly chain link fence…

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the tree has actually grown through the fence…
We used our Sawzall to cut each of the 3 metal posts down as close to the dirt as possible and bought a chain cutter to clip the fence off of the tree. Before we were even half done with the project, some of the local metal collectors had hauled all the poles and chain-link away.

We then cut down, clipped up and bagged the bus​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​h from the corner of the lot…


Once the back was clear, it only took a moment to cut through the nails holding the fence to the posts with the Sawzall.

We set aside the fence pieces and got down to the hardest part of our project – digging up the pole.

Let me just say – that was not fun.

We hadn’t realized when we started the project that the pole was actually planted in cement. We thought we had dug down far enough to confirm it was only stuck in the ground. But we were wrong… so very wrong…

After about an hour of digging, grunting and expelling more than a few strings of expletives, we finally unearthed The Beast…

After some careful measuring, Jake and I took turns chiseling down the excess cement and digging the (significantly smaller) new hole for the corner post.



After we got the pole back in the ground, it was relatively easy to rehang the original fence pieces – though we did have to trim one down a bit.

So…. if you’ll remember here’s what it looked like BEFORE:

And now for the AFTER!

With this change we have gained approximately 40 sq. feet of additional yard space!

The back also looks much nicer:



Total investment: $7 for a chain cutter.
Total gain: 40 Sq. Ft. of yard & a chain cutter.
Summary: Best deal since the Louisiana Purchase.

Next steps: Kill the existing weeds, then till and regrade the yard, then… plant new grass seed!

We’re getting so close to actually having a real backyard, I can almost taste it!


One thought on “Zero-Spend Garden (ZSG): 40 sq. ft. for $7

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s