Making Grow Boxes
Making Grow Boxes
Using grow boxes can be a fun way to be involved in gardening. Making your own boxes can add to the gardening experience. Below is some information from Texas AGriLife Extension (Don Freeman, Ron Miller, and Lisa Anhaiser) about making some simple and low cost grow boxes.
Grow boxes are self-watering, low maintenance gardening containers for small spaces. They’re reusable and great for vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.
1-32 gallon plastic storage container with lid
8-1 gallon nursery pots
2-foot section of 2" PVC pipe duct tape
A long piece of wire
Garden soil mixed with compost
1 large plastic garbage bag
Place the eight nursery pots inside of the container, open ends up.
The lid becomes the floor that the soil sits on and is supported by the eight 1-gallon nursery pots. The lid has to fit down inside the container so you'll have to cut about 1 1/2 to 2" in from the edge. The contours do not have to be perfect; they will be covered with duct tape.
Drill 1/4” inches about 2" apart all over the lid for drainage. Drill 5 or 6 holes in the lower 6 inches of the PVC pipe.
With the lid resting on the nursery pots, draw circles for the corner holes where the 2 corner nursery pots are. Cut these holes out. This is where the soil will go through the lid all the way to the bottom of the container. Cut another hole in the lid large enough for the PVC pipe that is used to fill the water reservoir.
Tape around the outer edges of the lid where it doesn't match up with the side of the container. Put the PVC pipe in place and tape around the edge of the hole. Taping prevents soil from slipping down into the reservoir below.
Drill drainage holes through the side of the container just below a point level with the lid when it's resting on the nursery pots, about 6" above the bottom of the container. These holes make watering in this container fool proof. You just pour water down the PVC pipe and when water comes out the drain holes, the container is full.
Place the container where you want it before adding soil because once the soil is added it will be too heavy to move. Fill the top of the container with a few inches of soil, starting in the corners with the holes (fill the holes completely). Pack the soil down a bit. This is how the water is "wicked" up to keep the soil above the suspended floor moist. Water the container from the top to moisten, not saturate the soil. Pack it down again. Spread two cups of dry fertilizer such as 15-5-10 or 13-13-13 (not the type for dissolving in water) in a narrow strip about 3 inches wide down the middle of the container, then cover with soil.
Cover the surface with a black plastic garbage bag to prevent rainwater from washing away nutrients and to reduce surface evaporation.
Cut holes in the plastic for seedlings in the container. The number of plants you plant will depend on the space they will need at maturity.Water the container by filling the reservoir through the PVC pipe. Water small plants once a week and when about 5' tall, water approximately every other day.