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My first boxes

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My first boxes

Post  hankyknot on 11/29/2010, 9:24 pm

Decided to build 3x3 boxes on 4x4 sheets of 1/2" plywood. one 4'x8' sheet of ply cut in half at the store and two twelve foot 1x6" lengths cut in half and half again also at the store and I came away with everything needed to build the two boxes and no sawing necessary on my part. All I have left to do is drill the drainage holes for the trestle bound boxes and I'll be all set.



I decided to build 3x3 on a 4x4 base so that the 6" shelf all round the edge could hold tools, seeds, bulbs, cups of tea and other important things without having to bend down and pick them up all the time.



Now I just have to find the post about what size holes to drill and where. Will post more pics as they progress.

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Re: My first boxes

Post  acara on 11/29/2010, 9:34 pm

Very neat idea cheers
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Re: My first boxes

Post  WardinWake on 11/30/2010, 12:43 pm

Hankyknot:

Great idea. In the book, "ALL NEW Square Foot Gardening" Mel suggests one 1/4 inch hole every 12 inches with an extra hole in each corner.

If you plant something that produces runners that you wish to grow out in individual pots (strawberries come to mind) you can place the pots on your built in ledge and train the runner to the pot to set root. Once the plant sets a good root system you can then cut the daughter plant from the mother and use it to transplant to another bed as you desire.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: My first boxes

Post  acara on 11/30/2010, 4:46 pm

Is drilling one 4" central main drain an option, in lieu of a bunch of smaller 1/4" holes (that will probably "blind" anyway), an option?

You can then get a drain penetration (pvc fitting that will drop right in) or just staple a single 6" square piece of landscape fabric over the hole to prevent soil loss.

I've never had much luck with MDF/plywood and exposed/cut edges & it seems like every penetration I make is just another sight for warpage/separation/delamination..... which may not be a concern with a bed on the ground .... but may be a concern for a raised/elevated bed supporting 60# of Mel's Mix (dry) above you little piggy's (toes).

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Re: My first boxes

Post  boffer on 11/30/2010, 5:57 pm

@acara wrote:Is drilling one 4" central main drain an option....?
If you did that, then you could use PVC shower pan liner to protect the wood. As it is, I'm seeing a potential problem with water leaking out at the junction of the ply and boards and getting seed packages and notepads wet.
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Re: My first boxes

Post  acara on 11/30/2010, 6:25 pm

If you did that, then you could use PVC shower pan liner to protect the wood.

Exactly

As it is, I'm seeing a potential problem with water leaking out at the junction of the ply and boards and getting seed packages and notepads wet..

Would a 100% silicone caulk bead or plumbers putty at the interior seam fix that?
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Water seepage

Post  hankyknot on 12/1/2010, 1:23 am

From what I recall a small indentation or well is made at the base of each plant and they are watered there rather than saturating the whole square.

Also the vermiculite is supposed to hold a lot of the moisture and release it over time into the surrounding soil.

So I would imagine if water starts coming out between the sides and the base then thats a sure sign that the garden has been massively over watered.

After all isn't square foot gardening supposed to just use 10% of the water?
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Re: My first boxes

Post  Ha-v-v on 12/1/2010, 7:47 am

I love the extra area on the sides for the "tea mug" I like having a place to set things as well!!
The boxes look great!
Ha-v-v
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Re: My first boxes

Post  WardinWake on 12/1/2010, 11:00 am

As it is, I'm seeing a potential problem with water leaking out at the junction of the ply and boards and getting seed packages and notepads wet..

Would a 100% silicone caulk bead or plumbers putty at the interior seam fix that?
[/quote]

I have run into the problem of water seeping out at the seams around the sides before the MM is properly saturated. We cured this by sealing the edges with an exterior construction adhesive which was a little cheaper than calulk. On our next Table Top box we will line the inside with plastic and put drainage holes through the plastic and the plywood. It will be interesting to see which method works best.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: My first boxes

Post  boffer on 12/1/2010, 11:45 am

@WardinWake wrote:...On our next Table Top box we will line the inside with plastic and put drainage holes through the plastic and the plywood....
I recall you saying you thought there was too much evaporation in your climate, from a box bottom made of hardware cloth and weedblock. What about plastic on top of the hardware cloth?
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Re: My first boxes

Post  tacoman on 12/1/2010, 2:20 pm

If you made your box 4x4 instead of 3x3, then you would nearly double your available gardening space. I would think gaining as many square feet as possible is the most important thing. There are other shelf possibilities that wouldn't use up growing space.

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Size isn't everything

Post  hankyknot on 12/2/2010, 11:20 am

Yes I could make my boxes 4x4 instead of 3x3, i could also put them on the ground and make them 10x2 but the boxes are to be set on trestles at waist height and will need to be moved from time to time. So in my circumstances and for my needs it made more sense to go with more of the smaller boxes.
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Re: My first boxes

Post  WardinWake on 12/2/2010, 11:47 am

@boffer wrote:
@WardinWake wrote:...On our next Table Top box we will line the inside with plastic and put drainage holes through the plastic and the plywood....
I recall you saying you thought there was too much evaporation in your climate, from a box bottom made of hardware cloth and weedblock. What about plastic on top of the hardware cloth?

Boffer:

Good idea. I have some left over plastic that will fit the beds with the hardware cloth and will use that to keep the water from moving through the MM to quickly.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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