Introduction: Square Meter Vegetable Garden on Wheels

I live in a small house without a garden, but still wanted to grow my own vegetables. I do have a small courtyard, which is partially covered, so I decided to give the popular square meter/foot gardening concept a twist: wheels!

I case of heavy rain I can put my garden in the sheltered area and in case of sunshine I can put it in the middle.

The inside of the planter is one meter by one meter (about 3 feet by 3 feet), the outside is 110 cm by 110 cm. Without the casters it is 28 cm high.

For the remix contest:

How to make an easy square-foot garden! by BigMac96

For the Epilog challenge:

What could I possibly do with a laser cutter? Oh boy, what couldn't I do? At first I would probably make some enclosures in wood and acrylic (well, boxes basically...) for electronics projects. When that gets old I would move on to some more advanced uses: engraving the anodized aluminium enclosure of one of my next projects, cutting precise mechanical parts (gears a.o.), selectively removing paint from the back of a sheet of glass, ... In summary: a lot of good content for many Instructables!

Step 1: Materials

I used the following materials:

  • 3 square Douglas fir beams of 50 mm by 50 mm (each 3 meters long)
  • 2 Douglas fir beams of 150 mm by 50 mm (each 3 meters long)
  • 4 Douglas fir boards of 200 mm wide and 22 mm thick (you guessed it, each 3 meters long)
  • 4 small rotating casters (two with a brake, two without a brake)
  • 4 stainless steel bolts, each with a nut and two washers (to attach the casters)
  • 8 metal braces (L-brackets), salvaged from Ikea furniture leftovers
  • 130 Torx screws (40 mm) and 8 Phillips screws (60 mm) - your mileage may vary
  • Waterproof canvas, some nails and duct tape
  • 12 kg of coconut coir bricks + water (can be substituted with bags of potting soil, about 180 liters)

I used rough lumber, so the measurements are not exact. You could make you life a little easier by using S4S lumber (surfaced on four sides).

And the following tools:

  • Miter saw
  • Drill press (optional)
  • Cordless hand drill
  • Table saw
  • Circular saw
  • Power sander
  • Shop vacuum
  • Chisels, hand plane, hand saw and hammer
  • Square, pencil, utility knife, measuring tape, sanding paper
  • Several drill bits, a 25 mm flat wood bit, a Torx T10 bit, a Phillips bit and a nut driver
  • Gloves, safety glasses, dust mask and earmuffs

Step 2: Bottom Frame

The bottom frame is made out of sturdy 150 mm by 50 mm beams. These beams were cut to 110 cm with mitered corners on the miter saw. The joints were glued and screwed together. Instead of using long screws to tighten the insides of the corners, I used L-brackets. These brackets will be on the inside of the bottom of the planter and will not be visible.

I will allow the pictures and annotations to do the rest of the talking.

Step 3: Casters

The casters were mounted on the corners using bolts. I drilled a hole on each corner on my drill press and used a 25 mm flat wood bit to countersink the nut. You could probably use a hand drill for this step as well.

Step 4: Top Frame

The top frame is similar to the bottom frame, but there is a rabbet on the inside to hold the side boards. Its a bit hard to explain, but the pictures should clarify!

The miters were cut on the miter saw and the rabbet on the table saw. I smoothed these pieces with a hand plane and a power sander (80 grit). I finished of the smoothing by hand with 120 grit sandpaper.

The pieces were again joined with glue and screws.

Step 5: Corners

The corners are cut to length on the miter saw, sanded and glued to the top frame.

Step 6: Sides

I cut the boards for the sides and bottom to length outside using a circular saw. the four side boards were mitered on the table saw and screwed into the top frame and corners using a lot of screws.

Step 7: Joining Top and Bottom

The sides/corners/top assembly and the bottom frame were joined using two 60 mm screws in each corner, from the bottom up (into the corner pieces).

Step 8: Floor

The five 1 m floor boards were screwed into the bottom frame.

Step 9: Water Proofing

I attached waterproof canvas by putting nails along the top edge into the inside of the top frame. I would advice using staples if you have a staple gun available. I also hit my finger in this step, awtsj...

Step 10: Filling

I filled the planter with 12 kg of coconut soil and added a dash of water. I love this stuff. You could also use bags of potting soil (180 liters).

Step 11: Planting

I planted some tomatoes for now. And some bamboo, because, euhm... yeah.

Step 12: Fertilising

Finally I added a dash of liquid fertilizer to some water and watered the plants.

Comments

author
koko33099 (author)2014-10-12

Very nice. Congrats on the contest win!

author
domenic3 (author)2014-09-01

love how it is mobile!!

author
HollyHarken (author)2014-08-30

I really like the planter/bench in the background. How about an instructable about how to make some of them?

author

I have taken some pictures when I built those planters a couple of months ago, so when I find some time I'll write a short instructable. They are very simple though. The slats came from some acacia deck tiles that I disassembled. While it looks like a bench, I wouldn't try to sit on it. The middle is just a couple boards of hardwood that I had left over from another project. Those boards just sit on the edges of both planters and aren't attached permanently.

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author
signeinla (author)2014-08-28

shouldn't there be some sort of drainage?

author
wouterdevinck (author)signeinla2014-08-28

fair point. I did consider that, but I didn't bother for the time being because it will not be out in the rain anyway.

author
Latorretotana (author)2014-08-26

¿Costs?

author

Good question! I forgot to add that. The price of the wood likely depends on your area, I payed 53 euros for the wood (+ delivery costs), 12 euros for the casters, 5-10 euros for the hardware and about 25 euros for the coconut soil. So the total cost will have been around 100 euros (that's 130 USD).

author
KookyKreations (author)2014-08-26

The coconut fibre is a great idea - much lighter than standard soil. I am picturing making these in various sizes to fit the nooks and crannies of my patio. Thank you!

author
tofugami (author)2014-08-25

Love that you put wheels on it. Moveable gardens also sound like good feng shui.

author
Robokidd_00 (author)2014-08-25

this is a great idea and perfect for the area you had!! excellent work!!!