Houzz TV: How to Make and Plant a Veggie Box

Houzz TV: How to Make and Plant a Veggie Box

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Houzz TV: How to Make and Plant a Veggie Box

When you plant a few veggies in a container for your balcony or patio, fresh flavors for your next meal are only a few steps away. And when you put your box on stilts, it’s easier to plant and harvest your crops, and its portability allows you to put your garden where the sun is, creating prime growing conditions throughout the year. Evan Marks, founder and executive director of The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, California, shows how to start your garden with seeds or seedlings and make a tall container that’s fun to grow them in.

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anna463

I love this idea, just one question though, shouldn't there be drain holes for the water?

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A. Tang

Great! I will make some. I love the elevated idea and the ease of construction.

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gardengirle3
my husband and I created some several years ago. although ours are waist high. keeps from bending over so much. we now only put containers in them. eventually the bottom will rot from the dirt and water. a lesson we learned with our first one.
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Evan Marks

Hi Anna, great question. Because the bottom slats are fitted very loosely there is plenty of space and ability for drainage. From experience, water will generally find it's way through wood even if butted together. For these veggie boxes, you can leave as large as a 1" gap between slats - whatever works best for the materials you have on hand.

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Kinmokusei

I would like to make one or two!! Is it safe to use pressure treated lumber that I can buy at Home Depot ? thank you!!

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skyval

Thank you for a little glimpse of home , I miss Capistrano - XOXO

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Katina Leodas

Hi Evan,

I made 3 similar veggie boxes last year, each one about 3' x 4'. I left 1/2" between the bottom boards for drainage and lined them with garden cloth (black, porous). Then I filled them with a nice mix of dirt and compost and planted my seeds/seedlings. The boxes got plenty of sunlight and I watered them regularly. The result was disappointing. Most of the plants suffered from mold and their yield was tiny in comparison to what I've achieved with raised beds that sit directly on the ground. Was it a drainage problem? My neighbor thought so. He recommended that this summer I add lots of vermiculite to the mixture. I live in the Northeast. What would you advise?

Katina

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WishICouldAffordThat

If you don't screw in the bottom slats, then when they start to rot you can just pull them out easily and replace them. The sides and legs should last a couple of seasons longer than the bottoms!

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-Dr. Derrick

Using (coated-for-exterior-use) pocket screws adds to structural integrity as well as aesthetics. Sure, it may add a few minutes more of labor, but it's worth it in terms of having a stronger box with hidden screws. -Derrick

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luvcabin
Love this idea! I had to give up a traditional garden due to back issues. I think I'll attach casters on the leg bottoms to make it easily moveable on my deck. I like the idea of allowing some gap between the bottom boards, and putting down landscape paper before filling it. Thanks for the video!
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johanneyak

what about lining it with plastic and putting drainage holes through the wood and plastic at the same location?


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musiclady777

I was also wondering about drainage. How about,,.... leaving some space between the boards.. .like 1/4 inch... and landscape fabric or....the plastic and punch holes in the plastic?


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Dave Kerman
great idea so simple as a back sufferer will be ideal
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saskijah
This made my day.
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PRO
Albert Allen | Green City Realty
Great project. It's best to use chemical-free wood for these projects. Treated wood can degrade your soil and creep into you crops.
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anna463

Thank you Evan =)

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Brent Gallion
This is a great way to keep my dogs out of my veggies. I will be building some of these.
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Victoria Riberdy
I came back to make that comment about the pressure treated wood as the PRO said. The phone rang but I woke up thinking about someone launching a way to eat healthier only to plant in a box with toxins that leach into the produce.
Happy this is been addressed.
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Evan Marks

On the West Coast, we use Redwood specifically because it lasts for years, is a very renewable resource, easy to work with and beautiful. Cedar might be a better alternative on the East Coast.

With the right wood selection, there's no need to line the beds with plastic or landscape fabric. Plastic becomes a maintenance issue as well as potentially unwanted habitat for pests. Not to mention it may heat up in direct sun.

Landscape fabric really wouldn't protect the wood, if that was the idea.

My recommendation is to keep it simple and elegant. Enjoy!

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VIVIAN OLKIN

We built 2 veggie/flower boxes that were lined with metal, possibly mesh on the bottom. They have lasted 10 years and the metal keeps the wood from rotting. We left the big one at our old house when we moved, but took the 6 foot one with us to our new place. The metal solves the rot issues, the height solves back issues.

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cozarth

So, I clicked on this article because of veggie part, not the box part. I have a handle on that (and in fact, would add handles to the sides to help with carrying). It is the veggie part I struggle with. I have never had any luck growing anything. Would this be big enough for one kind of vegetable only or could I try to mix a few different things? Is there an article to go with this one about what to do with the box after you have built it?

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PRO
Ferris Zoe Design

i wish i had a chop saw!

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PRO
The Ecology Center

cozarth - You can grow a mixture of leafy greens, onions and herbs. You can also grow a vegetable, like tomato or cucumber, and would have to add a trellis. Success in growing your own organic food depends on a few factors. Here is a link to one of our articles about planning your organic food growing adventure: How to Design An Organic Vegetable Garden

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Adriana Jimenez

nice

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Sheila Schmitz

cozarth, in addition to the great tips from The Ecology Center, here's a related story from the Gardening section on Houzz that should help: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/60845108/list/seeds-or-seedlings-how-to-get-your-garden-started

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grammasandy

You can also add wheels to the bottom of the legs so it can roll around easily... catch the sun....

Also... if you don't have a chop saw try asking someone at the store where you buy the wood if they could cut it for you. they just might.

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PRO
Xtraordinary by Design

My husband was recently inspired to make a planter box for me. I haven't decided what to put in it yet because I realized that at only 6" deep I'd have to only put shallow rooted plants in it. I talked to my master gardener grandmother & so far all I can come up with is lettuce, onions, and peppers (I have lots of herbs in pots already).

Now we're thinking about adding another 6" so it will be 12" deep. Maybe that will broaden my planting options?

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silviakunst
To kinmokusei ....I think pressure treated wood has a chemical that is cancer causing ....if not sealed ...it's called CCA ....? Better check it out ....
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silviakunst
Here I found something about pressure treated wood on the Internet . I hope this helps .
"The EPA is mainly concerned with the levels of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) in pressure-treated lumber, as the arsenate in CCA is a type of arsenic, which is a carcinogenic. The arsenic levels in the wood have been shown to have a negative health effect on people in extended contact with the wood, or for example, when children touch the wood in play areas and then put their hands into their mouths. The industry withdrew CCA from almost all residential uses in 2003. By 2004, the CCA pressure-treated wood was phased out, and is no longer available to general consumers. Several alternative coatings were developed to replace CCA, including some using a copper base. Although CCA has been banned for residential use, it is still in use for some industrial and agricultural purposes."
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acjlwkm

Boy, I miss the word vegetable.

   
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kjwolf37
Small Garden
   
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PRO
dekzuma
great idea, so beautiful...go green brow....
   
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Andres Amezcua
awesome
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mcfaricy

Made this for my elderly mother. Great little herb garden at chair height. About to make one for her sister.


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Leah Heintz
I want some ideas for a small flower, plant bed along our front door walkway and up against our garage wall? Any ideas?
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PRO
GSJS NY
Great video!!
   
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Antonio Ortiz
This is a nice idea, however I live in an apartment and didn't have a space to do all this. Inspired on this I did some online research and ended up buying a Noocity grow bed from cityfoodproducts.com, I liked that had a water tank and supposedly I don't need to water it for weeks! Instructions were not the best but it was pretty easy anyway, no tools were required so I was done in just a few minutes. Now just waiting for the first sprouts!
   
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PRO
Custom Decks Inc.

Thanks for the video!