Simple Garden boxes


A garden box can be anything with sides and open on the bottom: tires, old canoes with holes, bathtubs, window boxes and of course the simple wood box.

To start a single simple 2-foot by 2-foot box, you will need an eight-foot length of 2×6 lumber. Pressure treated will last a long time; cedar will last and look pretty. If you can afford 2×8, go with 2×8. Get the board cut at the store into four 2-foot lengths. These will be the four sides of the box. You will need to attach them using nails or screws so if you should get at least eight 3″ screws or nails while you are there. Each corner will have at least two 3-inch nails or screws.

While you are out and about you will need to pick up some topsoil – for our two by two by 6-inch deep box you will need around .07 yards or 55 litres of soil. You could also add a bag or two of compost in place of soil for more fertile ground. You could go all compost if you wanted to kick it up a notch.

Now pick a spot you would like your new garden box to be. Full sunshine? Shaded? In a swamp? Your choice and location depend mostly on what you want to grow, sunnier areas are better overall, with shaded areas for vegetables that need to be cool.

So don’t go digging up your yard, an easy trick is to put newspaper or cardboard down on top of the grass and put the box on top. The paper/cardboard barrier will kill off the grass underneath and make a great weed barrier. It will decompose into the soil within a year or two and add nutrients.

Then fill the box with your soil. Now you have a 2-foot by 2-foot garden box ready for planting. Now comes the hard part – what to plant.

Getting your lumber cut at the store is usually easiest as its much easier to transport shorter boards in a car. For different sized boxes will require different cuts. Stay small at two-foot widths and then adjust lengths to 2,4 and 8 feet to make life simple. Adjust the amount of soil needed using the example above as a guide.

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