$100 City Proof Garden

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About: I've been a tinker my whole life, so I quit my day job when I graduated from business school and now I run a flat-packed furniture company out of Baltimore, MD.

Creating a garden in the city can be tough, mostly because of the problem with rodents. Here I will walk you through a step by step process of how I built my city proof garden.

Garden Size: 72" L x 27" W x 36" H

Build Time: 3 - 6 hours

Tools Needed:

  • Power Drill w/Phillips bit
  • Circular Saw (Miter Saw Suggested)
  • T-50 Staple Gun
  • Shovel (Rake also Suggested)
  • Metal Snips

Buy List:

  • (8) - 2 x 2 x 8 - Not Pressure Treated - $14 (Lumber Isle)
  • (4) - 2 x 6 x 8 - Not Pressure Treated- $ 17.72 (Lumber Isle)
  • Chicken Wire - 1/2 in. x 3 ft. x 25 ft. Hardware Cloth - $45.94 (Gardening Section)
  • 2-1/2 in. Galvanized Non-Removable Pin Narrow Utility Hinge (2-Pack) - $4.37 (Hardware)
  • (2) - Sash Lock - $5.74 (Hardware)
  • 2 1/2" Drywall screws - $6.74 (Hardware)
  • 1/2" T-50 Staples - $3.22 (Hardware)

Total = $97.73

Step 1: Gather Materials

Tools Needed:

  • Power Drill
  • Circular Saw (Miter Saw Suggested)
  • T-50 Staple Gun
  • Shovel (Rake also Suggested)
  • Metal Snips

Buy List:

  • (8) - 2 x 2 x 8 - Not Pressure Treated - $14 (Lumber Isle)
  • (4) - 2 x 6 x 8 - Not Pressure Treated- $ 17.72 (Lumber Isle)
  • Chicken Wire - 1/2 in. x 3 ft. x 25 ft. Hardware Cloth - $45.94 (Gardening Section)
  • 2-1/2 in. Galvanized Narrow Utility Hinge (2-Pack) - $4.37 (Hardware)
  • (2) - Sash Lock - $5.74 (Hardware)
  • 2 1/2" Drywall screws - $6.74 (Hardware)
  • 1/2" T-50 Staples - $3.22 (Hardware)

Total = $97.73

Step 2: Make Cuts

Using your Miter saw or Circular Saw, measure and make cuts to each of the dimensional lumber. You can also use a handsaw, but it will be less efficient.

Cut List:

2 x 2

  • (2) - 40"
  • (4) - 66"
  • (2) - 24"
  • (2) - 22.25"
  • (2) - 35"
  • (2) - 32"
  • (2) - 34.5" (after straight cut, cut from end at 45* angle. You will have a 34.5" piece outside, 31.5" inside)

2 x 6

  • (4) - 25.5"
  • (4) - 70.5

Step 3: Assemble Wooden Gate

1. Align the wooden components as shown, and screw together the first h pattern using your cordless drill. I found this step easiest with a 36" clamp to hold the pieces in place while I screwed the components together.

2. Attach the 35" side pieces, with one screw connecting each end to the h pattern made in step one. Again I used a clamp to secure the boards easier.

Step 4: Assemble the Structure

1. Align the wooden components as shown, and screw together the first h pattern using your cordless drill. I found this step easiest with a 36" clamp to hold the pieces in place while I screwed the components together.

2. Attach the 40" side pieces, with one screw connecting each end to the h pattern made in step one. Again I used a clamp to secure the boards easier.

Step 5: Assembling the Base

1. Find the area where you will place the garden and prep the soil. I dug out around 2-3 inches deeper than the rest of the surrounding area with the 72" x 27" footprint. Make sure the area is flat and somewhat level.

2. Assemble the base as shown in the first picture and place two screws in each flat surface/butt end joint.

3. Repeat for the second layer, staggering the boards as shown.

4. Screw the top into the bottom layer. I start the screws straight in near where the two boards meet, then rotate the screw at a 45* angle to connect the two boards. I placed 6 screws in, 2 on each long section and one on each side section.

Step 6: Attaching the Frame to the Base

1. Dig a hole by each back corner of the base about 4 inches deep. Place the structure inside the hole and make sure that the bottom structure board is aligned with the top of the base. Place screws connecting the structure to the base in the location of the pink dots

2. Attach the 22.25" on each side, connecting to the base. Screw where the pink dots are located

3. Attach the 34.5" horizontal support. Screw where the pink dots are located

Step 7: Attaching Chicken Wire

Be very careful, wire is sharp! I recommend wearing gloves for this step.

1. Unravel part of the wire, and start to staple it around the inside back of the structure as shown. Proceed slowly and make sure that the wire is tight and fitted to the structure. Cut with the shears when you are close to the end of the opposite side.

2. Cut the wire so it is flush with the horizontal support shown in picture #2

3. Cut a section of wire slightly wider than the garden, and work it into the base of the unit. Please wear gloves, metal is sharp. Staple the bottom enclosure to where ever it will attach to the wood

4. Fit the wire to the gate, and cut it to size. Staple the wire to the gate

Step 8: Attach Hinges and Locks

1. Attach hinges first to the gate, I aligned mine 6" from each end. Attach with screws provided.

2. Attach sash locks to each side to keep those pesky critters out of your garden. I attach each side in full locked position to ensure proper alignment.

Step 9: Plant Your Garden

1. Fill top soil. I used 5 cubic feet of Miracle-gro. Should run around $4 a cubic foot.

2. Plant your plants! I used herbs since that's what always goes bad before I use it all up when I cook.

3. Enjoy the fruits of your labor! (Tomatoes are fruits right?)

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    24 Discussions

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    AdopteUnRoux

    2 years ago

    Hi,

    Great job ! What software did you use to design your garden?

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    impied

    2 years ago

    This is awesome, I need to do this to keep the neighborhood cat from pooping in all my planters!

    1 reply
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    tmsproimpied

    Reply 2 years ago

    impied: i've had a lot of success stopping cats from using the garden bed as a litter box by inserting skewers, twigs or plastic forks (pointy side up) every 8 or so inches in a grid pattern. I prefer the skewers or twigs as they blend in better.

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    GraydonT

    2 years ago

    use it as a chicken coop.

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    nell.patrick.9

    2 years ago

    in winter I cover mine with plastic /extends the growing season for veggies a few more months

    1 reply
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    TeresaM7

    2 years ago

    I don't have a problem with city - I have an acre of land - but this is a very good design for a hot frame for winter/cold weather growing. Just add glass or plastic over the screen. Done! Thank you!

    1 reply
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    HerbscoTeresaM7

    Reply 2 years ago

    Good call! Looks like I will have to update this in the fall :)

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    DavidM45

    2 years ago

    FYI: Yes earwigs and slugs are notorious drinkers BUT pill bugs are not so my solution has been rip four 90º connectors and 4 lengths of 1" PVC pipe in half and attach 5" off the ground on the outside all around and caulk so it seals to the wood. They can't climb over the overhang, keep the beer for yourself!

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    mattias11

    2 years ago

    Nice, I tried to make a garden, however slugs would always get at it. This looks like a great solution. :)

    4 replies
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    samnjoeysgramamattias11

    Reply 2 years ago

    Slugs are notorious little drunks. If you put a small dish or even a jar lid full of beer on the ground, you will trap all kinds of the little devils and they will drown in the beer. But they die happy, so don't feel sad. Another great, non-toxic to humans slug and bug killer is DE or diatomaceous earth. Fantastic stuff and won't hurt you or your pets. Look it up online and use food grade only, not the kind they use in swimming pools, Pool DE has lots of other things added that you don't want to eat. When I built my house, I put it between the walls and under the cabinets and I have never had a bug or spider. BTW, spiders are little predators. If you have them, they are there to eat some kind of bug or fly in the house. Get rid of their prey and you get rid of them.

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    diy_blokemattias11

    Reply 2 years ago

    I have a lot of slug problems this year. If you dont have enough eggshels to lay about... use two copperwires conected to a battery. Next year all my beds will have that

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    diy_blokemattias11

    Reply 2 years ago

    I have a lot of slug problems this year. If you dont have enough eggshels to lay about... use two copperwires conected to a battery. Next year all my beds will have that

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    Herbscomattias11

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks!! Rats are like big furry slugs, should work the same :)

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    BG_instructs

    2 years ago

    Nice,

    if you would add transparent plastic over the tilted frontside, you immedialty turn your bed into a greenhouse.

    2 replies
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    HerbscoBG_instructs

    Reply 2 years ago

    Good call! I was thinking the next one will be made with reused windows for the same effect.

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    samnjoeysgramaHerbsco

    Reply 2 years ago

    If built with windows and sealed on the ends, it becomes a " cold frame". If it faces South, you can start your plants in it in the spring when there are still frosts at night. In a lot of climates, you can grow lettuce in it even when there is snow on the ground. It will cook everything during the summer though, so the glass is only for the cold seasons. Great post. I live in the mountains and it should keep the chipmunks and squirrels out. The bear? Not so much.

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    bensnowclark

    2 years ago

    Looks really good! I think you miscalculated the cubic yards of soil used though. That box is exactly 0.5 cubic yards in size or about 380 litres.

    1 reply
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    Herbscobensnowclark

    Reply 2 years ago

    Good catch! I meant to say cubic feet. Thanks!

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    BrownDogGadgets

    2 years ago

    Very well done! Nice herbs as well.