I've always wanted to grow my own food, and this summer Im actually starting! The first day after I got home from school my dad and I went to Home Depot and got some pressure treated lumber to build a couple plantar boxes for our backyard. We decided on boxes that were 6 feet long, 2 feet deep, and 1 foot high, all made out of 2x12 lumber.
This size made buying the wood nice too because we could just get two 12 foot lengths to make all four 6 foot pieces, and then one 8 foot piece to make the four 2 foot side pieces. We also got one 8 foot 2x4 to use as bracing material for the corners. All of the wood cost about 90 dollars.
Once we had the wood, we started construction!
Apparently using pressure treated lumber is NOT A GOOD IDEA for plantar boxes and gardening. The chemicals used in the pressure treating process leach into the soil, and then the plants, and then your body when you eat your veggies! Use redwood or cedar wood instead, and these woods are also naturally rot-resistant so thats a plus.
Thank you so much to all the users who posted comments voicing their concerns! One user also pointed out that people freak out about things like this, but at the same time might not think twice about drinking a diet Coke, even though it contains carcinogenic chemicals and other nasty stuff... Like everything else in life, it is up to you to weigh the risks. But, just to be safe, if you have the option, I would suggest using redwood or cedar :)
Thanks again everyone!
Step 1: Build the Plantar Boxes
Assembly was very simple compared to a lot of our woodworking projects. We used a countersinking pilot drill bit to make 2 screw holes per joint, and then used either 8's or 10's wood screws. We had both boxes assembled in under an hour.
Next we moved the boxes into the backyard to figure out placement. Remember, most vegetables need a ton of sun (at least 6 hours a day) so keep this in mind when deciding where to put them! These boxes do not have bottoms, so once they are filled with dirt, they aren't really able to move anywhere...
Once we were happy with the placement, it was time to do some dirt research.
Step 2: Buy Soil in Bulk
The volume of each plantar box is 6x2x1 = 12 cubic feet, so we needed 24 cubic feet minimum. So, we decided to get a full yard so we would have some leftover.
The only problem was we had to get it and transport it ourselves. We dont own a pickup truck, so I had to cover the back section of our minivan with a tarp so we could pile dirt in and drive with it. I used zip ties to attach the grommets on the tarp to seat belts and headrests in the van, and it actually worked pretty well! We managed to shovel in about a yard of dirt, drive home with it, and shovel it all out without getting any dirt in the carpets or seats!
Using a wheelbarrow, we transported the dirt from the driveway to the backyard and dumped it into our plantar boxes.
Step 3: Plant Veggies!