Thursday, August 19, 2010

Large organic standing vegetable planter box!

I have been itchin to grow veggies in our garden for quite some time now. Since we have massive raids of cute plump raccoons almost every night, I knew I wouldn't be able to plant on the ground. They love the soft soil and have been tearing up our pretty flowers! So I had an idea to build a standing garden.
I asked my hubby all week to build me one and finally on the weekend he did! It is so awesome...the tomatoes have room to grow..my basil is getting really full,
my bell peppers are growing like crazy along with my wax peppers and my carrots are peeking through. All in one box! I noticed when I add 'bone meal' before planting each plant, I had tons of blossoms growing quickly! I also made sure to water gently and not to splash water on the leaves. So many things I have learned!
















My drawing of the planter.














When you see small dark poo droppings, you know the hornworn is right above it somewhere.











Can you see him camouflaged under the leaf? they are always under a leaf..








The hornworms are harmless when you pull them off the plant. I just throw them in the canyon near by instead of squishing them. This bugger was around 3 inches long.







You can see my irrigation system.
















8 comments:

  1. I am a student at the University of Utah getting ready to build a standing garden for a cancer hospital in the SLC community. I need large grow boxes like the one you have here. Any ideas on where I can purchase them this large?

    Bryn
    mcbryn@gmail.com

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  2. Hi Bryn, I wouldn't know where to buy them but really all you have to do is built a huge wooden box and put 4 legs on it. It doesn't have to be perfect. I actually think a rustic looking planter looks more natural then the clean cut versions I have seen online. Just make sure the base of the box is very sturdy as the soil you put into it is quite heavy. I also recommend LARGE wheels so it can be easily moved if needed.
    Good luck=)

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  3. I am very interested in building a smaller planter box for a small scale organic vegetable garden. Is this pine wood that you constructed the box with? Is it treated/sealed in anyway? I have been doing lots of research and am worried about using any chemical product, but also don't want my box to rot too quickly.
    Thanks!
    libby.atwood@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Libby, sorry for the late reply. I didn't treat the box as the chemicals can seep into the soil

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    2. This box will last you a very long time:-)

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  4. Dear Nana,
    I love your planter box. Can you please provide details to build one like yours? I have never done this and I'm not handy. I would like to get dimensions for the wood & the type of wood that you used. Thanks.

    Angelica
    angelilowe@hotmail.com

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  5. Thank you for your comments.
    I'm posting a drawing I made for this planter after I post this message.
    We really didn't think too hard about it. If you can build a box, you can build a planter. The key is the corner metal supports. Put them in every corner. It doesn't have to be perfect and if the wood happens to have little gaps, it is totally fine. Make sure you have strong legs to support the box because the soil is very heavy. I put a thin black lining which water can drain through (lowes) on the inside, up along the interior walls so the soil doesn't seep through when watered. We stapled the lining. It didn't look pretty but the soil will cover it all. you can never use too many nails! Use rust proof nails. The wood I believe was cedar, but not high quality cedar. It wasn't sanded smooth or treated. We didn't seal it although the lowes people suggested we should but I didn't like the idea of chemicals on my planter. We built this 2 years ago and it still looks new. and we had some weather! The wood has darkened slightly but it's in great shape. I wouldn't worry about treating the wood. I think ours will last up to 6-8 yrs.
    I also made my own irrigation system when I bought at a gardening store. You snip the tubes and adjust it so the water drips right at the root. I set it to drip 3 minutes everyday at 6pm. Tomatoes love routined watering. They grow so much better. Plus with the timer, you never have to worry about watering. I think it was around $60? It's worth it.
    I also noticed HORNWORMS. They can eat a whole tomato plant in 2 days! Everyday I looked at every leaf to see if I can find them. Instead of spraying chemicals on your plants to kill the worms, I put a thin mesh netting over the whole top part of the planter(see the sticks in my drawing). Then left a opening with Velcro so I can get in there when I need. This keeps the birds from eyeing my red tomatoes and keeps the hummingbird moths from laying their eggs on the tomato leaves which turn into hornworms. Will post pictures of the hornworm. Bottom line, we used lots of staples, lots of nails. Don't worry about looks. Also use large wheels so you can roll it around when the sun changes. We put on smaller wheels (as shown in the 3rd picture) to save money but realized the thing wouldn't move and put pressure on the legs. So we bought huge wheels and it made a big difference.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for posting more photos and details. I'm excited to build this planter. Thanks again for sharing.

      Angelica

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