While Jack and I absolutely love our little Tennessee home, living in an apartment has certain disadvantages. Aside from the constant din of teenage neighbor girls bickering over a borrowed sweater, we have no land to garden!
Some might consider this a blessing, never having to mow the lawn or weed the garden, but me, I crave the dirt. There are few things that compare to being outside with the sun on your shoulders and your hands in the ground.
Last summer, Jack and I were surprised to find a ridiculous amount of planting pots available in stores but a severe lack of planting boxes, at least ones that didn’t jump into the hundreds of dollars range. All I wanted was to plant some veggies on our porch and pretend we had our own secret garden.
My dear husband, always willing to help with my ill-planned schemes, devised this simple box to show off my veggies. Did we research how to best go about this task? No, of course not, that would be silly right? Well, the plan worked, mostly. (I’ll get to the “what we learned” section at the end.)
We went to our local Home Depot and figured out the cheapest way to build the planter box, ended up being about $25. We bought two pine boards and had them cut into the following measurements:
Cut 1×12 into 2-1ft sections and 2-4ft sections
Cut 2×2 into 3-1ft sections
Screen door mesh (or some other screening with tiny holes)
Build a Planter Box
Hopefully, the cutting makes sense. Next is simply a matter of piecing all the boards together. Obviously, your shorter boards are your ends and the longer, your sides. Assemble the pieces using screws (We used nails, but don’t do it. More on this later.)
After the four main boards are nailed together, attach the netting to the bottom of the box. This will help drain water, without draining dirt as well.
Next, attach the 2×2 blocks over the top of the netting, one toward each end and one in the middle. We did this mostly to keep it up off of the porch so there would be no rotting underneath from the drainage.
Flip it over and you have a box for planting in!
Now, a couple things to think about and adjust.Our box worked wonderfully for the summer but had a few issues as we neared the end of growing season.
We used nails to piece our boards together, but with dirt and the expanding roots, eventually the pressure inside the box started to push out the nails and the boards began to separate.
Suggestion #1: use screws, not nails
Also, in Tennessee we have quite a few thunderstorms throughout the summer and the wood took a bit of a beating.
Suggestion #2: try using a different type of wood, one that is more hardy, or try treating it with some sort of outdoor weather sealer
I think that about covers it all. I think this year we are going to try to make smaller individuals boxes instead of the long one and maybe paint them to add more color to the porch! Best of luck and happy growing!
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