Uphill Gardening.

 I have a very small garden and most of it is in shade due to an apple tree. 
The only place left to grow my veg, that gets any sun, is the patch of wall shown in the photograph.

I wanted to use window boxes in a stepped arrangement so that the higher ones would not cast a shadow on the lower ones.

I also wanted a structure that would take under an hour to build so that I did not lose heart halfway through.

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Step 1: Feet.

 I had two large beams at my disposal. 
They did not need to be anywhere as thick as this but it's what I had.

I simply put them against the wall at my desired angle and marked the tops and bottoms parallel to the wall and floor.... and cut them with a bowsaw.

Step 2: Supports.

 I just nailed on a couple of supports, making sure that the gaps were  only slightly wider  than the window boxes.

Step 3: Batons.

 I nailed on some batons for the ends of the boxes to rest on.

Step 4: Bish Bosh.

 Here it is, seeded with tomatoes and ready to grow. 
I do not have another window box, so the fourth level will be a shelf with individual pots on it.

I figure that if I put a small circle of salt/sand around each foot, (maybe copper tape.), the slugs will go elsewhere.

If you make this and your boxes are not strong enough to be supported just from the ends then put a shelf across the batons and place the boxes/pots on that.

This summer I will be eating  mainly tomatoes.

Step 5: June Update Photo.

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    11 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Now I am grumbling to myself for letting the gutter man take away all my old gutters... I see what it was I wanted to do with them


    9 years ago on Step 4

    Tomatoes require a good depth to flourish so they wouldn't be my first choice for the planters shown.  Lettuce, radishes, peppers, herbs or other plants that require less depth than tomatoes might be more successful.  Good luck though, I love the idea!


    9 years ago on Step 4

    Clever use of space!  If you place the boxes just right, you can save water by watering  the top box and let excess water drip down into the next 2 boxes.  Of course, you'd need to drill holes in the bottom of the top two planter boxes for drainage. 

    Seems like that would lend itself to a self watering system. A fish tank pump and some tubing. Maybe a solar cell to power it.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Watch out for heavy rain - those plastic troughs are not designed to be unsupported along their lengths (I can see them twisting already), and could collapse when the soil gets sodden or the plants get large.

    I would add an extra length of timber along under each trough.

    Grand idea, though, and kudos on the Fast Show reference.

    2 replies

    Yes, you are right.
    I was making up the design as I went along and could not believe my luck on finding that the boxes could be supported on just two batons; however I shared your concerns about collapsing.

    They were already twisted, but should they fail, I will put a shelf across each baton set and rest them on that.  I will put an note to this effect in the instructable.



    9 years ago on Introduction

    its a great idea but I think your planters may be to shallow for good roots on a tomato, you could of course, trim off all but the upper branches and lay the baby plant on its side, the whole stem will then grow roots. You could then train the plant up the supports... best of luck and happy eating

    1 reply

    They must be bigger than they look in the photograph; I had two plants in a pot this size last year and reaped many tomatoes....I did support the stems on plastic netting though.
    I'll update this instructable later on in the year.