Do you like the taste of fresh vegetables but don’t have the space for a full-blown garden? Growing vegetables on your patio is an easy and convenient way to get those fresh veggies without digging up the yard. Plus you have the added benefit of a very limited number of weeds.
Laying out the garden box
Using a 4×8 sheet of plywood, cut three strips, 16 inches x 64 inches and six pieces that 16 inches square. To easily do this, mark off 16 inch strips of the plywood running lengthwise down the board, then take two strips that are 16 inch width wise to make the square pieces.
Assembling a patio garden
Take two pieces of the 64 x 16 inch plywood and run pieces of a 2×2 around the outside edge (flush with the edge, screwing it in from the outside (plywood side) on each of the two piece of plywood. Take those two pieces and set them with 2x2s inward, facing each other and add a third piece of 16 x 64 inch plywood as a cap. Make sure it is flush and square in the corners and attach it with screws.
Close the box and install the liner
You should now have a long u-shape. Using the 16 x16 inch pieces, cap each end to make a box.
At this point the choice is up to you whether or not to water-treat the inside of the box before adding a liner. Line the box with a couple of layers of thick plastic sheeting or pond liner; fold it in the corners and staple it into the top of the 2×2 frame.
Finishing the edges of the garden planter
Use a 1×4 board and lay it flat over the stapled area to finish off the top of the garden box. Now you can paint or stain the outside to your liking and put some soil or peat moss inside and you’re ready to go gardening.
Making a self-contained watering system
If you want to get really adventurous, you could get a couple of extra 2x2s and elevate the floor about 4 inches. To make a floor use your scrap pieces of 16 inch plywood, cut holes in them to allow the water to drip down into the reservoir beneath the floor and then add a pump with a float switch on it. The pump should be placed where it could pump the water out of the basin and redistribute it through either ½ inch pvc pipe or through soaker hose and back into the plant, recycling your water. This could also be a nice way to grow your vegetables hydroponically. The limits are up to your imagination, but either way, patio gardens are a great way to grow some vegetables even if you don’t have much space.
This is just one of many jobs around your house that make it possible for you to be your own home improvement contractor.
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