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  • OT - Planter boxes

    Anyone have plans or pictures of planter boxes they have made? I have a bunch of 2x4's and larger left over from some projects. Wife and I want to have a veggie garden. Thinking I want elevated ones that stand off the ground.
    Also, anyone experienced with growing peppers? Namely Habanero, Jalepeno, and maybe Pablano's? I am NOT a green thumb.

  • #2
    Yes, grow them every year, along with tomatoes and tomatillos. We do raised beds, but now, due to squirrels, we have to cage the tomatoes and sweet peppers (giant marconi). I do not cage the jalapenos and serranos, nor the poblanos.

    2 x 4 may last a full season, raised beds rot wood fast. In Florida (you are there, right?) probably faster than here. We use sheep tanks up on concrete blocks in the cage, on an extra extended part of the driveway that is not otherwise used. Used to grow in the ground, but the squirrels changed that. With the new yard arrangement (old garden area converted to berry plants and flowers), the peppers go in large pots next to the greenhouse.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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    • #3
      Don't use PT wood anywhere near you edibles, despite any assurances that it's safe. Stick to Cedar, Cypress, Redwood or some type of plastic container or trough raised up.

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      • #4
        I have heard that peppers do well in worm beds. Lots of night crawlers. Everything else does well in worm beds too. I had a 6x6 raised bed like that, was so rich I could have gotten 2x crops per year if the damn deer didn't eat it all... The jalapeƱos didn't even slow them down. My dirt was a black as could be.

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        • #5
          Ok, maybe I'll use the wood for the stand, and look for a plastic box once I am able to leave the house.

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          • #6
            A couple of my friends are avid gardeners and getting on like many of us. Both of them went nutso last year with plastic raised planter kits from Costco. As mentioned you don't really want to use PT wood for safety reasons. The planters they got might only raise the beds up roughly 10 inches but the one lady with a nasty knee says that's still fine and makes a big difference for her.

            As mentioned avoid regular house building wood. It will only last two or maybe at best three years before it is falling apart. And the white fungus that grows on rotting wood might not be a good fit in a vegetable garden Best solutions are things like plastic, stone or masonry options and limit the raised height to maybe 12 to 18 inches.

            I would also suggest with my limited gardening knowledge that you want your raised planters to be in contact with the soil and not raised up away from the ground unless you keep them quite deep and tend them often or want to install some manner of automatic watering feature that works off the dryness of the soil. Keeping the raised beds in contact with the ground aids with keeping the roots from becoming too warm and the soil from drying too rapidly. Plus it allows a ready path upwards from below for beneficial critters like worms that aid with aeration of the soil. And it avoids any limits on root growth for plants that like to go deep as they mature. Raised tables are fine for starting plants but once transferred you don't want the deep runners to be blocked by a shallow table style planter if you want the best results. The friends also have a couple of big and deep 10gal plastic pots for some plants. They work well but these pots still need watering more frequently than the raised beds in contact with the ground.

            A couple of years ago I cleaned out a small area of junk behind a retaining wall and made it into a herb garden. To stop the soil drying badly through the side walls of small retaining blocks I lined just the sides with plastic sheet as I filled in the volume with good black soil. I got a few things growing nicely in there but I'm not a great gardener so I managed to kill off some other items pretty badly. But the idea of either masonry retaining wall bricks or dry stacking big and small stones ( go for blasted up jagged rock for dry stacking, NOT rounded river rock) then lining the inside vertically with plastic or pond liner can make for a pretty nice and rather decorative planter. I've done a fair bit of stacked stone retaining walls around this house and call me crazy but I actually find building such low retaining walls for the garden to be quite a lot of fun.
            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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            • #7
              I have a couple of designs I've built, trough type from 2x12 and 30 gallon containers from ply and various cuts. I was under the impression that the PT caution was outdated since they stopped using arsenic compounds. They mostly use alkaline copper quaternary or Micronized Copper Azole.

              https://www.walterreeves.com/gardeni...reated-lumber/
              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gellfex View Post
                I have a couple of designs I've built, trough type from 2x12 and 30 gallon containers from ply and various cuts. I was under the impression that the PT caution was outdated since they stopped using arsenic compounds. They mostly use alkaline copper quaternary or Micronized Copper Azole.

                https://www.walterreeves.com/gardeni...reated-lumber/
                The same was said for CCA lumber by state and county Ag. extension employees. Rodale Institute found otherwise through their own testing and published results long before professionals admitted their error. The preservative migrated into the soil and measurable amounts were found in the vegetables. Maybe the new PT lumber is safe for veggies, but I'll pass.

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                • #9
                  Ground contact is not required. It is not even that helpful. The sheep tank planters have been in use now for probably 20 years. I put drains in them when I put them in, with a layer of sand at the bottom leading to the drain at the end. If t rains a good bot, the water comes put of the drains in a stream, then drips for a couple days. I water enough to see drips.

                  Planters are filled with old, well-composted chopped-up leaves and grass clippings etc. We have amended it a bit, as well. The composter is always full of worms, the finished stuff looks like dirt, and has worm castings in it. Holds moisture pretty well.

                  The planter will get soggy and kill the plants if a drain is not in place. Yeah, you water them when they need it. No biggie, it's a gardener thing.........

                  PT wood, not a good idea, likely. Plastic.... maybe not so great either, it leaches out stuff that is probably not very good for you either (and maybe worse). Masonry is OK, but unless it is mortared construction it will dry out quick unless you line it, and if you DO line it, it will probably get saturated and drown the plants unless you figure a way to drain it of excess water content.

                  Never had a problem with the 12" deep sheep tanks as far as roots. Tomatoes and peppers do not really go deep, they don't have tap roots. If they get what they want the roots will not need to go looking for it.

                  If you made the things 15 or 18 inches deep, that would be OK, to have more moist soil for the Florida sun, but you still need to water the same amount per week either way.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                    Ground contact is not required. It is not even that helpful. The sheep tank planters have been in use now for probably 20 years.
                    What is a sheep tank? I don't think you are talking about IBC beverage totes with the top removed. Do you mean plastic livestock watering tanks?

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                    • #11
                      We did 3 courses of 4x4s to give us a 16 inch high raised beds. 60 foot long by 2 foot wide. We grow tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers.

                      I used a tiller to loosen the dirt 8 inches deep before we laid down the lumber. It's amazing how deep some of the roots go. We once did whisky barrel beds, and we found roots that found their way through 24 inches of soil to the bottom drain holes and deep into the earth below.

                      Every year we add a few bags of top soil to the mix and till it in.

                      Dan
                      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                      Location: SF East Bay.

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                      • #12
                        Was gonna say, the wood we used in my raised bed was poplar from an amish sawmill. No chemicals in that! Re: weeds, dandelions are healthy for you, loaded with more iron and Vit. C than spinach. The tap root reaches all the way down to Satan's outhouse, but you can roast it and make a good coffee substitute.

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                        • #13
                          I have a friend that just gets a bunch of square hay bales every year, puts them around the edge of his yard and cuts a couple of hollows in the top of each one. He puts dirt in the hollows (may use potting soil, not sure) and plants his stuff in that. Instant raised beds. The bales fall apart over the following winter and in the spring he mulches them with the lawn mower and dumps them in his compost pile with the grass clippings. I've never tried it but he says it works great.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                            What is a sheep tank? I don't think you are talking about IBC beverage totes with the top removed. Do you mean plastic livestock watering tanks?
                            These are the old steel ones. 2' x 6' and 12 or 15" deep.
                            1601

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

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                            • #15
                              Locust is very good for ground contact. It can last for many years without rotting. https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/977/
                              http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                              Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                              USA Maryland 21030

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