A Dirt Cheap Planter Box

| April 4, 2012

You don’t have to have a huge planter box to benefit from a raised bed style of gardening.

In a fantasy world we’d take the truck, not our everyday commuter, to the home improvement store, and buy upwards of 150 dollars worth of lumber, for a brand new garden box, that we plan on putting on the unused acre of space in our back yard.

While that sounds awesome, it’s not everyone’s reality. It also doesn’t need to be, to reap the benefits of a raised box garden.

I reclaimed a 12 foot 2×8 from a home improvement project, and repurposed it for a small garden box. Specifically, I built mine to improve the soil and irrigation for lettuce, and it just so happens to work very well.

I used a hand saw and cut two 4 foot lengths and two 15 inch lengths out of my reclaimed beam. For durability sake, I’d recommended that you use long wood or decking screws. However, I only need mine to last a single season. I’ll be moving my entire garden to another part of the yard, so I used 3 ½ inch framing nails I had in the garage, which work just fine

After cutting and framing, I grated the dirt under the target location of my box with a shovel until the area was level. I filled the box with a mixture of my own compost, and a half used bag of store bought garden soil.

While my box is pretty basic, narrow and shallow by most standards, and it lacks stakes to support side walls, I actually get two rows of healthy great lakes lettuce comfortably growing in my box. Even better! It took less than half an hour of my time, and an out of pocket cost of Nothing!

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