Homemade grow boxes

PABonsai

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Made some grow boxes. 1x4 cedar sides with 1x2 cedar boards for "legs" all held together by titebond II wood glue and exterior galvanized nails. Bottom made of aluminum window screen secured to sides and 1x2s with stainless staples. A little weather sealant for extra durability. I made (3) 9x9 and (2) 12x12 boxes from $20 of wood. I just wanted to share this in case anyone wanted to copy. Very easy to build and should provide more than enough drainage and air.
 

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Sansui

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I like your design, especially the three batten board bottom to hold it all together!
 

PABonsai

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I think you might find the screen mesh to drop out after a while. You might need to put it on the square frame first and then add the bottom slats. Or you should have less space between the bottom slats.
That was the reason I opted for a middle slat so we will see. Thats also why I went with aluminum wire, to avoid sag. This was a first shot so we will see. I figure if after a few years I just have to put new wire in then that's an easy patch. I ran it up the sides of the unsupported ends and where it was supported just stapled to the bottom boards so I didn't have to cut any small odd pieces of mesh or boards though. I attepmted for as cheap as possible and limiting material waste to basically 0. So we will see how this experiment goes.
 

Eckhoffw

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These look great!
I’ve really found I like this type of grow box.
Plants love em, they look good and are cheap!
I’ve been makin some similar with some old broken cedar fencing and/or pallet wood.
May not last forever? But hell, look way better than a crate or plastic container. 👍104501D6-03C9-405D-A9C8-20B79139748E.jpeg
 

PABonsai

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These look great!
I’ve really found I like this type of grow box.
Plants love em, they look good and are cheap!
I’ve been makin some similar with some old broken cedar fencing and/or pallet wood.
May not last forever? But hell, look way better than a crate or plastic container. 👍
That's a good idea. Basically an apple crate. It'll definitely be study for years!
 

PABonsai

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If sagging of the screen material is of concern use a piece of perforated aluminum sheet stock like this:
That's a very good idea for long term durability. That would last basically forever. If the mesh fails I might look into that.
 

PABonsai

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It sure was a bitch finding stainless steel staples for my old swingline staple gun though. Can't find 1/2" crowns anywhere. With contact against aluminum plus continual wetting galvanized just won't cut it!
 

PABonsai

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I like your design, especially the three batten board bottom to hold it all together!
Thanks. I thought a long time about the bottom and that's what I settled on. They provide rigidity to the box, support for the sides, legs for air, they allow wire to be run so that the box still sits evenly and additional support for the mesh vs just attaching to the sides.
 

Sansui

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There are aluminum nails and screws available. Copper nails too should ever need them for projects. Your boxes should last for years.

I live in an older home built by Pennsylvania German-Americans in 1869. The red pine, mortise and tenon joints and cut nails are still keeping it together. :)
 

coh

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I've been using similar home-made grow boxes. One thing to be aware of - if you attach the mesh to the bottom with staples (or any other method), it can be difficult to get the tree out after a few years. The roots often grow into and get tangled in the mesh, which can't easily be pulled out if attached to the frame. I've had to take the boxes apart because of this. Now I don't attach the mesh to avoid this issue.
 

PABonsai

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There are aluminum nails and screws available. Copper nails too should ever need them for projects. Your boxes should last for years.

I live in an older home built by Pennsylvania German-Americans in 1869. The red pine, mortise and tenon joints and cut nails are still keeping it together. :)
Cut nails are great because they don't split wood. I'm interested to see how these "exterior galvanized" nails work. I originally wanted stainless but couldn't find the size I wanted. And aluminum I couldn't find small enough boxes. I didn't need a 1,000. I only use 20 per box.
 

PABonsai

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Another material for strengthening the bottom is hardware cloth in 1/4” or 1/2” mesh. Then put the screen on top of that.
I'm hoping I don't need additional support. I don't think I will because these boxes won't hold a lot. I'm going to be using perlite/DE and bark in these so they should be pretty light. If they make stainless cloth that would probably help though. My initial goal was a trial to see how cheap and simply I could build them. I am so bummed I can't even use them now for like 5 months!!!!
 

PABonsai

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I've been using similar home-made grow boxes. One thing to be aware of - if you attach the mesh to the bottom with staples (or any other method), it can be difficult to get the tree out after a few years. The roots often grow into and get tangled in the mesh, which can't easily be pulled out if attached to the frame. I've had to take the boxes apart because of this. Now I don't attach the mesh to avoid this issue.
Thanks for this. That would be an argument for maybe trying some of that perforated aluminum in the future.
 

Woocash

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Wish I could get cedar that cheap. I’m guessing it’s not Western Red though... That stuff smells amazing. The boxes look fine for purpose man, nice job.
 

penumbra

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Lots of good ideas here and apparently just about everything has been tried. On my large boxes, 18 inches and more, I used 2x wood with more bottom slates for screen support and my screen is not attached. My screen is the plastic drainage material on some pots and hardware cloth supporting window screen on others.
 

PABonsai

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Wish I could get cedar that cheap. I’m guessing it’s not Western Red though... That stuff smells amazing. The boxes look fine for purpose man, nice job.
That's thanks to the big box stores. It was called "cedar" so I have no clue what kind or if it's even really cedar. A 1x4x8' cost $7. Though if I had went to 1x6 that would have went to $14 for a single board. I figured the weather sealer will help no matter what it is and then I can just recoat in a couple years.
 

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