Last summer my wife and I started gardening on the deck more intensively. We began by building a plant stand for the deck that held four 24” planters. After reading about various intensive planting methods, we decided to make templates for planting seeds in the planters. We have provided two different templates. Depending on the vegetable grown, each template provides a double row planting layout that accommodates the narrow width of the planter. Due to the small size of the container in general, it is ideally planted with radishes, lettuce, spinach, onions, carrots and the like. Just place a few seeds in each hole and thin after they have two true leaves.
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Step 1: Tools/Materials
- Drill or Drill Press
- ¾” Bit
- Ruler/tape measure
- Pencil or Pin
- Wood 1x6 by 24” long
- Planter box (optional)
Step 2: Board Size
Measure your box dimensions. I think the boxes I have are pretty standard and run about 6” x 23” (inside dimensions). Cut the 1x6 so it fits in the box. For my case, I was able leave the standard width at 5.5” and cut down the length to 22.5”
Step 3: Determine Hole Spacing
Here are a few vegetable varieties and planting spacing:
For Template 1 (1.5" spacing along the row), plant the following vegetables:
- Carrot 'Little Finger' or similar
- Peas, short non-climbing
For Template 2 (3" spacing along the row), plant the following vegetables:
- Green Onion
Step 4: Mark Holes Per Template 1 or 2
Use the ruler or tape measure to mark off the spacing.
Step 5: Drill Hole at Locations
Step 6: Ready the Soil
Place potting soil into the planter and gently firm.
Step 7: Set Template
Place template on top of the potting soil.
Step 8: Place Seeds
We used Template 1 and chose radishes for our first planter box. Put a few seeds in each hole of the template. Note that some seeds might not germinate.
Step 9: Cover With Seed Starting Mix
Cover the seeds with a fine seed starting mix. Gently firm the soil before watering.
Step 10: Water
Thoroughly water the seeds that were just planted. Keep soil moist while seeds are germinating.
Step 11: Plants
This is 3 weeks after planting. Radishes grow quickly. Other seeds will take longer to sprout and grow.
Step 12: Plant Stand
If you would like to build the planter stand, here is a link.