Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The first planter box

It might be my last, too.

OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration. But, it did take longer than I wanted it to. It was also a bit more work than I thought it would be. That is not to say by any means that I am afraid of the work. Just that twice as long wasn't what I was going for. It also took twice as much dirt to fill it up. The height ended up being taller than I had originally planned. But, all in all it worked out all right. I want to lower the next one and my lovely husband is all - 'You can't do that' but, Oh yes, I can! And, I will. The ground slopes so if I didn't lower the next one it would be too tall anyway.

Oh, right you don't want me to keep chit chatting, do you?

We started with a really roughed up garden. We knew that we were going to be doing this project so the last 2 or 3 months things were let go. We dug out the first 2 walls and got a good start. One of our main concerns with the metal construction was the heat transfer. Here in Florida the soil gets hot enough all on its own. I didn't figure it needed any help getting any hotter! So when we got up the old boards I had Rich cut them into lengths that would fit down into the frame of the walls. This should work to not only aid in lessening the heat transfer, but it will also keep the roots of the plants from coming into contact with the metal itself.


That poor old grapefruit tree was really in the way. I was digging the hole for the third side and gave up. After a long lunch break and enough research on the Internet to finally convince my hubby that the tree needed to come out, I got the go ahead to chop it down. That made the other two walls a lot easier to dig. Well, in a manner of speaking. At the end of the weekend we had 4 walls up, and a truck load of peat mixed with pine waiting for that planter!
The kids had a blast playing in it and completely ruined their socks. They have shoes that are 'outside only' so that was no big deal, but the socks had to be thrown away!
Here the 4 walls are up and hubby has decided that rather than a wood frame and sitting surface he wants to TILE the boxes with a bunch of bricks. Well, As long as I don't have to do it. I will still have to create a seat that can be moved from one box to the next, but for now I can just sit up on the top layer of bricks. He was kind enough to lay them so I can use it, it just isn't very wide. Or at least not as wide as my rear!

The box is nearly filled with dirt now and almost finished with the tiling job, but the weekend was over. Another truckload of dirt will finish it, but I am thinking about potatoes for this box so maybe planting some now and then finish filling it later might be better anyway... Hmmm....
I did break down and transfer 12 sweet potato slips into 1/2 of the box this past weekend. I couldn't help myself. I had to clean up that part of the garden to get it ready for the next box, and I didn't want them to suffer in the meantime. What's a gardener to do?

Nearly finished now. Hubby just has to find time to make the cuts for the 2 corners that will need square tiles instead of the rectangular ones on the top there. (Can you see the far end at the top?)
Not bad, huh? Again - not quite what I had planned, but I'm all for plans changing if it means that I have to do less work! The box is definitely higher than I had planned so I'll have to think of a way to stagger the heights and not have it look bad. With 4 of these boxes it would look strange for all of them to be at different heights unless I specifically planned it out ahead of time.
The dimensions of the box are different than I thought as well. When I looked up the pallet dimensions online it said 42" x 48" but in reality these pieces were 57" long!  I don't remember the short side because we took advantage of it and put that side into the ground... NO WAY was I digging that much farther!  So they are 57" x 50" roughly.
Sure do hope I never change my mind. I can't imagine how much harder it would be to take these out then it was to put them in. WOWSA!
So, there you have it. Now I have to figure out irrigation...
See you soon!

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