Weekend Project No 2: Raised Deck Garden Under $100

We have a bonus project idea this weekend that I'm thrilled to share with you today!  The maker of the adorable family tree project we posted about this past summer,  Erika (daughter to one of our readers Melissa of Darby's & Pumpkin's Daily blog), is back this time in the form of a clever raised deck garden (all under $100)!   Here are the instructions in Erika's words.  (Thank you so much Erika)!

First, the reason I started this project was because all of the raised planter beds I was looking at online and in stores were insanely expensive and didn't seem to offer all that much space for growing. I've also been all over Pinterest looking for a project like this to use and haven't been able to find anything that wasn't going to cost an arm and a leg. My husband and I live in a town home and though we have a yard, the only place with enough sun during the day is our deck. I wanted a planter big enough for salad greens and a few other veggies but I didn't want to spend hundreds. Our garden is about 9 inches deep and about 2.75ft x 6.75ft. That is just under 21 sq. ft. of planting space.

Here is our project list:

1 Old Door (yes, a door. If you don't have one laying around one can be bought from the hardware store)
1 2x10x8 of pressure treated wood (cut at the hardware store to fit one long length of your door)
1 2x10x12 of pressure treated wood (cut to a second long length and two short lengths of the door)
2 saw horses of your choice (ours were foldable metal and $17)
2 packs of L brackets (8 total, small size)
1 box of decking screws (3in long)
1 roll 2mil thick plastic painters sheeting
10.5 cubic feet of potting soil
Seed of your choice!
Total Cost: $100!!! including the dirt. A bit more if you don't already have an old door.

It took us about 40 min to put the box together. We fit the wood around the outside of the door and screwed it. We then secured the inside of the box with the 8 L brackets. Set up our two saw horses outside on the deck and placed the box on top. We did choose to line our box with plastic sheeting. This step was to help prevent the water from eventually rotting the door. We figured we could also have painted the inside with roofers tar. For our water drainage hole, we left the hold open where the door mechanism would usually go and covered it with a fine mesh and removed the plastic in this area.

Update:  Thanks to your comments, yes more holes can be drilled for drainage as well as lining the planters from the wood.

We only have a few peas growing at this point, but can't wait to see a whole garden come May when most everything is supposed to be ready to harvest!

Jan Halvarson


Victoria5 said...

How amazing,
Thanks for sharing,
Nice way to recycle old doors...

Sherry said...

This is a great way to make a raised bed! Another reason to line with heavy plastic is you don't want the pressure treated wood chemicals to leach into the soil and kill your plants. Thanks so much for sharing this!

SaylorMade said...

This is quite clever! I agree with Sherry that the sheeting is necessary to block the soil from the chemicals in the pressure treated wood. My question is, is there drainage? That will be necessary for the plants to grow well.

Dan R said...

Great idea! I'm also chiming in that I wouldn't want pt wood in contact with vegetable beds, and I'd probably drill some more drainage holes.

kathrynclark said...

Clever idea but second the comment about pressure treated wood, a BIG no-no around edibles. Glad to see you lined it with plastic first. Also, paint is often toxic so it's best to sand down an old door just to be sure there's no lead in the paint as it decomposes.

miranda said...

as the weather begins to warm in the canadian part of the world, please keep the gardening tips coming!

it is great encouragement to those thinking to contribute to their eco-footprint, and also puts (me) in a great mood just seeing the fresh-earthed garden shots!

many thanks!

pankaj prasad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jan Halvarson said...

Thanks for your comments - I spoke with Erika and she says yes of course more holes can be drilled for drainage, although their's is draining fine.

And of course lining is a good idea.

Johanne said...

Since you lined or are going to line that box with heavy weight plastic you were half way to converting the whole planter into a sub-irrigated system so I believe you stopped just short of perfecting this design.

Have a look at my flickr site where I converted my six wooden raised beds in sub-irrigated planters and then travel onto Bob Hyland's site where you will learn all about growing in sub-irrigated planters.

Pre-existing raised beds and pre-drilled planters are easy enough to convert into sub-irrigated planters. Your plants will love you for it, there is no precious water run-off and no nutrient run-off. Your plants have on-line, on-demand access to water and they will grow faster and produce more fruit.

Here are the links

Bob Hyland's blog out of Brooklyn

Best of luck...

Anonymous said...

Way too cool - from a door, eh? I have this linked to my planters post too today, for inspiration!

SJD said...

This is also perfect for older gardeners like my mother who is now wheel chair bound. She finds it very frustrating that she can't get down and dig in the dirt any more. This is small enough that I'm sure the assisted living home where she lives will approve. SJD