How to Build a Garden Box for Indoor Planting: Step by Step Guide

Food Garden Garlic Organic Gardening Box Plant

Nature will always be an important part of our lives. So why not invite a part of it in our home? With a robust garden box, you can have fresh vegetables, herbs or mesmerizing flowers right under your nose. There are many products on the market that might appeal your eye. Nonetheless, the more effort you put into a project, the more special it will become to you and closer to your heart. Therefore, today we are going to learn how to build a garden box from scratch. You don’t need any previous experience with this simple yet exciting do-it-yourself adventure.

garden box, how to build a garden box

Perks of Having an Indoor Garden Box

First of all, any house looks different than before when its owners allow a piece of nature to invade its territory. Especially in Asian cultures, humans and nature are always in harmony. No party is greater than the other which makes them equal. As such, indoor plants can make you feel more balanced and at ease by transcending time and incorporating traditional occupation into your daily routine.

Moreover, your passion for gardening will not have to wait any longer for cold seasons to pass. Learning how to build a garden box for indoors is going to offer you control over your own garden in miniature. Therefore, you can cheat winter and continue caring for your plants throughout the entire year. An indoor planter is ideal for decorating a home in simple, natural style.

Determine the Size and Location of Your Garden Box

Before going ahead and purchasing or looking for the necessary materials, there are a few decisions you should make. You should first decide which area in your home you are willing to designate for your indoor garden. The ideal region should be exposed to sunlight as much as possible.

As this is a customizable box, you can decide every aspect of it. For instance, there is nothing that hinders you from attaching your indoor garden to a wall. This way, you save a lot of space. You can place the necessary tools for taking care of your plants bellow your suspended garden.

Once you decide the size and location, you should take a ruler tape and note down the dimensions.

Difficulty Level and Required Materials

This project requires a minimum of skills and dexterity. This makes it perfect for even an excited beginner to start off this task. This involves building a simple wooden rectangular box with special features for gardening. However, if you are content with smaller recipients, there are other great ideas for eye-catching DIY planters.

Before learning how to build a garden box, you should take a look at the required materials and tools. Afterward, you will have a big picture of the necessary budget to create such an idea by yourself from scratch.

Materials and Tools:

  • Measuring Tape.
  • Work gloves.
  • Interior-grade lumber, ideal width of 1 by 6 inches.
  • Handsaw
  • 1/4 –inch thick plywood or a piece of same lumber.
  • Manual or electric drill.
  • Manual or electric screwdriver.
  • 12 screws.
  • 2 or 3 lathe strips.
  • Hammer (optional).
  • Sandpaper.
  • Paint.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Plastic (ex. A heavyweight garbage bag).
  • Scissors.
  • Staples.
  • Staple gun.
  • Florist pebbles.

How to Choose Your Lumber

lumber, how to build a garden box

Once you are in front of the store, you will realize there is a large palette of choices. For once, you should avoid pressure-treated wood. This type of lumber usually contains some chemicals that can be harmful to your plants. For instance, it can be treated with arsenic which is toxic to vegetables. A good choice to go with is an ACQ-treated wood. This type of lumber is not treated with any harmful chemicals.

The other aspect you should consider during your shopping session regards the design you want. If you are planning to own a garden box with a natural finish, you can definitely select a hardwood like maple or oak. However, if you intend to paint the container, you should use a knot-free wood such as poplar or pine.

Steps on How to Build a Garden Box for Your Home

1. Cut the Lumber

Now that you know the ideal dimensions for your garden box, you can start off by cutting the planks with a hand chainsaw. In the end, you should have two pieces for the length of the planter and another two for width.

2. Measure the Bottom

Now that you have all four initial pieces for your garden box, you can measure dimensions for its final piece, namely the bottom. The easy way to do it is with a pen and paper. Draw a diagram with the dimensions of your planter. This sketch will help you determine the ideal dimensions for the bottom.

For instance, if the sizes reveal a 6×18 rectangular, then your bottom will be 18 inches long as well. However, the width is a little trickier. You have to take the size of the actual lumber in consideration as well. Therefore, if you are working with 1-inch lumber, the bottom should have a 6 + 2-inch width. However, there’s a shrinkage process that is distorting mathematical measurements. In the end, you should take 1 inch as a 7/8 inch for accuracy. In our case, the final result should be a bottom width of 7 3/4 inch.

3. Reinforce Corners

The corners of your planter should be strong enough to withhold the pressure of the load. The procedure is simple. All you have to do is form the rectangular starting with just two planks. As such, out of your four pieces of lumber, you should take one short and one long.

Form a corner and drill three holes. These points should have some space between them. They should pierce the long plank and penetrate the short one. Afterward, you can connect the two planks with three screws. Repeat the same process for the other three corners.

4. Attach the Bottom to Rectangular

Place your rectangular on a flat surface with the bottom up. Cover the box with the bottom plank. Drill four spaced holes which should go through the bottom plank and into the sides of the rectangular. Afterward, enclose the bottom with screws.

5. Reinforce Bottom Against Rot

Your guide on how to build your garden box is almost ready! Your planter should already have a shape. However, chances are that your box will be in contact with a hard surface. This makes your garden susceptible to rot and decay.

In this case, you should use your pieces of lathe strips. There should be two or three pieces of the same width as the planter. Attach them to the bottom with screws. They should be around 2 inches away from the end of the box.

This method will allow air to reach below the garden box and ventilate that area. Two lathe strips should do the trick for boxes of up to 18 inches long. If yours is bigger than this, you are going to need a third one.

6.  Use the Sandpaper

It is time to give your garden box a smooth touch. Use the abrasive sandpaper to polish woodwork.  Make sure there will be no more uneven surfaces that can damage your skin whenever you take care of your indoor garden.

7. Paint Your Garden Box

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Now that your garden box attained its final shape and it is all smooth, you can go ahead and enjoy probably the best part of this project, which is painting. This step is up to you entirely. However, there are some tips at this point as well.

For instance, you can choose to fit your new garden box better to your designated room. If you go in this direction, you can simply copy a background model on the plain lumber. For example, if your wall is made of brick, you can paint on your box a brick design. You can also find a way to glue some bricks on your planter and create a pleasant model out of them.

However, you will surely want to consider other ideas as well. Do a little research on the Internet and select the design that delights you most. Nonetheless, you don’t have to stick to one color only. You can combine more colors and nuances instead.

8. Drill Some Drainage Holes

Use the drill to make four or five drainage holes at the bottom of your garden box. This is a simple yet important step. In the absence of these points, your plants are in danger to be soaking in a too wet soil for a long period of time. Eventually, they will wither.

9.  Waterproof the Interior

Take the sheet of plastic (which can be a garbage bag). Its dimensions should be several inches wider and longer than your garden box. Cover the bottom with it and attach the plastic to lumber with a few staples.

This process ensures a better protection for the wood against a surplus of water. Otherwise, the wood might suffer damages.

10. Increase Air Circulation and Add Potting Soil

We are at the final step in our tutorial on how to build a garden box. Start loading your garden box with a 1/2-inch layer of florist pebbles or gravel. This trick will ensure a better air circulation for your plants. Top the rest of the box with potting soil or any other kind that agrees with the plants you want to grow indoors.

Final Word

Now you have all the knowledge you need on how to build a garden box for your home. The first such experience might be tricky for a beginner. However, once this first attempt is completed, you will want to create more. If you find this step by step guide useful, you can share it with your friends to inspire their day as well!

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