Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Building the boxes

Once I decided on square foot gardening it was time to build the boxes. As I said before, I did not want to take up my yard space so what I did was to build four boxes on stilts hanging over my deck. Since I did this last year and do not have pictures I will briefly explain the process and show some pictures of the final product.

So far I have only used two of my four boxes so below is a picture of one of my finished empty boxes.

As you can see it is just a basic shallow wood box. If you are building them on the ground all you would need is the two by eights screwed together in a frame, laying on the ground. Once you've filled it with your soil mix, you would mark up the grid and plant accordingly.

To make two of the boxes shown above, you would need four two by eight's assuming they are 8 feet long, one sheet of plywood cut in half so both halves are 4 foot by 4 foot and plenty of wood screws.

Just cut the two by eight's in half and screw them together like a picture frame. Then lay the plywood on top and screw it into the frame. For the stilts I used four by fours, measured the various lengths, cut out squares in the corner of each box, slid them into the holes and secured with screws. Below you can see this from the top.

Once the boxes were in place, I measured out the grid and placed screws accordingly at the top of the frame to wrap the string around. In the middle of each square I drilled a drainage hole. Once I filled it with my soil and compost mix, I wrapped string around the screws marking the grid. You can just see the screws and grid in the picture below.

The boxes are pretty basic and straightforward. In all I spent around $150. That included enough wood and screws for four boxes, a jig saw and a rechargeable drill.

Just a couple of tips. If you need to buy a drill get a corded one. It will take you for ever to screw in the screws and drill the holes along with all the charging. Also, if you would like to save money, try watching Freecycle for wood and tools people may be giving away.

Good luck, and if you have any questions just ask.

Photos taken with Canon Powershot A570is

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