Monday, April 25, 2011

Dirty Tales - All Boxed Up

Last year I was introduced to the concept of EarthBox gardening.  It was later in the season and a bit beyond my price range, but I was intrigued.  I have been playing with upside-down growing as well as planting in both my raised beds and in flowerpots of various sizes, so this seemed a natural extension.

Earlier this spring, I came across this book at my local library.  In it the author has wonderfully detailed step by step instructions on building self watering planter boxes based on similar concepts as the EarthBox.

A quick shopping trip and about $30 later, I had the supplies to make THREE - and some left over to make some additional 5 gallon bucket planters (more on those to come).  I turned the supplies over to Hubby -and he went to town.  And Saturday afternoon I had a balmy afternoon to step outside and get them filled.  Each is now planted with lettuce and spinach, with place holders for some larger plants to come later in the season.

Empty box waiting for water and soil.  The platform is made from the lid of the tub and supported by PVC pipe, some of which is perforated for water to wick up into the soil above.
Filling the wicking areas with wet potting soil.  The bottom water reservoir has been mostly filled already.

Soil was added layer by layer and watered as it went in.  The key to how these planters work is to be sure they are kept moist and that the soil never dries out.  (check out the kickin' garden boots!!!)

Placeholders for 2 plants (peppers or tomatoes) to be added later in the season.  I can remove these pots and slip in the new plants without disturbing the lettuce or spinach.  Once the new plants get big, the lettuce/spinach will be about done producing and can be removed.
Planted, watered, and "waiting"... we should see some growth here soon.
Two of the boxes now reside on the deck - nice and sunny, warm, and easily accessible from the dining room to pick fresh greens for dinner.  The third is just around the stairs in front of the deck, and will soon be surrounded by some 5 gallon bucket planters as well as my eclectic mix of pots and "windowsill boxes".


Barb said...

That is very interesting.....

Shellie said...

Great idea! I hope a lot of new veggies come out of these.

Darling Jill Quilts said...

Very cool!! Sometimes, I wish that I lived in a little house so that I could put in a garden.... But then I remember all the other yard work and it wises me up! lol