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Richard Evans 06-04-2009 12:30 AM

Building wooden containers
 
I'd like to build my own wooden containers for growing vegetables. I
know you can't grow edibles in containers made from pressure treated
lumber, but are there other options?

I suppose I could just use pine and discard it when it rots, but how
about pine painted with exterior stain or other preservative?

How about plywood (non-PT)? Is it safe?



Pat Barber 06-04-2009 10:08 PM

Building wooden containers
 
How about the newer plastic wood ???

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...g&N=4294950812

Depending on how high you wish to go, with some pressure treated
4x4 and these boards, you are in business.



Richard Evans wrote:
I'd like to build my own wooden containers for growing vegetables. I
know you can't grow edibles in containers made from pressure treated
lumber, but are there other options?

I suppose I could just use pine and discard it when it rots, but how
about pine painted with exterior stain or other preservative?

How about plywood (non-PT)? Is it safe?



Pat Barber 06-04-2009 10:19 PM

Building wooden containers
 
I forgot about these guys:

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgi.../hgic1257.html
http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/HORT2/MF2134.PDF
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/e...bed/index.html


Richard Evans wrote:
I'd like to build my own wooden containers for growing vegetables. I
know you can't grow edibles in containers made from pressure treated
lumber, but are there other options?

I suppose I could just use pine and discard it when it rots, but how
about pine painted with exterior stain or other preservative?

How about plywood (non-PT)? Is it safe?



Craig Watts 07-04-2009 01:24 AM

Building wooden containers
 
Richard Evans wrote:
I'd like to build my own wooden containers for growing vegetables. I
know you can't grow edibles in containers made from pressure treated
lumber, but are there other options?

I suppose I could just use pine and discard it when it rots, but how
about pine painted with exterior stain or other preservative?

How about plywood (non-PT)? Is it safe?



Have you seen the display outside at Logan's. They use
cinder blocks and it is pretty impressive.

Craig

Richard Evans 07-04-2009 02:55 AM

Building wooden containers
 
Craig Watts wrote:

Richard Evans wrote:
I'd like to build my own wooden containers for growing vegetables. I
know you can't grow edibles in containers made from pressure treated
lumber, but are there other options?

I suppose I could just use pine and discard it when it rots, but how
about pine painted with exterior stain or other preservative?

How about plywood (non-PT)? Is it safe?



Have you seen the display outside at Logan's. They use
cinder blocks and it is pretty impressive.



I guess I should have qualified my question: I'm not doing raised
beds, I'm building standalone containers to set on my deck. Literally
wooden pots of varying sizes.

KTTT 08-04-2009 03:00 PM

Building wooden containers
 
Richard Evans wrote:
Craig Watts wrote:

Richard Evans wrote:
I'd like to build my own wooden containers for growing vegetables. I
know you can't grow edibles in containers made from pressure treated
lumber, but are there other options?

I suppose I could just use pine and discard it when it rots, but how
about pine painted with exterior stain or other preservative?

How about plywood (non-PT)? Is it safe?


Have you seen the display outside at Logan's. They use
cinder blocks and it is pretty impressive.



I guess I should have qualified my question: I'm not doing raised
beds, I'm building standalone containers to set on my deck. Literally
wooden pots of varying sizes.


You can use PVC boards, or "plastic wood", from Home Depot. Lowes also
carries a different brand with different characteristics.

With PVC cement, the stuff that you use to cement PCV water pipes, and a
few small screws at stress points, you can put together a very sturdy
pots that would last forever.

The materials come in a variety of sizes, maximum is 1"x8", which
actually is 3/4"x7-1/4".

There is only one color though, white. But in my opinion, it is better
to deflect the intense heat in the open deck in the middle of the summer
here.

Richard Evans 08-04-2009 05:49 PM

Building wooden containers
 
KTTT wrote:


You can use PVC boards, or "plastic wood", from Home Depot. Lowes also
carries a different brand with different characteristics.


The stuff I looked at at Lowe's is prohibitively expensive. Where a 1
x 6 x 8 PT board is under $5, the same size plastic wood is over $32.
They did have some on sale for $23, but still way too expensive.

I came across this on the Web: "If you have to use a wood
preservative to keep wood from rotting, use a copper napthenate
product"

I'll probably go with pine and the CN preservative, assuming I can
find such preservative.



KTTT 09-04-2009 07:31 AM

Building wooden containers
 
Richard Evans wrote:
KTTT wrote:

You can use PVC boards, or "plastic wood", from Home Depot. Lowes also
carries a different brand with different characteristics.


The stuff I looked at at Lowe's is prohibitively expensive. Where a 1
x 6 x 8 PT board is under $5, the same size plastic wood is over $32.
They did have some on sale for $23, but still way too expensive.

I came across this on the Web: "If you have to use a wood
preservative to keep wood from rotting, use a copper napthenate
product"

I'll probably go with pine and the CN preservative, assuming I can
find such preservative.


It's true that those pcv stuff is quite expensive. It would be a lot
cheaper to buy pre-made cedar planters. :-)

I too was looking for ideas to make my own wooden containers. For the
same reason, I decided not to use those pcv boards. (But if you later
change your mind for any reason, the brand that Home Depot carries is a
lot lighter and seems a bit stiffer too.)

I was thinking about using 2x untreated pine lumber and cover the inside
with may be two layers of heavy plastic. The paint section in Lowes or
Home Depot has these plastic sheets in various thickness.

You could run the plastic sheet over the top edges of the container, and
use some 1"x2" pine to cover the top sides to make it look nicer.

The outside can be left as it is or painted with exterior paint. That
would make the containers last for at least five years. I think if you
could water proof the inside well enough with plastic sheets, there
would be no need to paint or treat the outside. (Pond liner would be a
good alternative for plastic sheet.)

Well, I abandoned the wooden container idea. It's just too much work to
build two dozens or so 2'x2' containers for me. I ended up with some
cheap plastic planters. But if you prefer a "raised bed" on the deck,
something like a 4'x8' raised bed, pine lumber would be a much better
idea.

Regarding plywood, I would think that it would not work very well unless
you seal the edges real well. The glue would not hold very well after a
season or two in the the rain. Marine plywood would be better since
they use waterproof glue but pricewise it is not a good idea either.

I would not use any preservative on a wooden containers for growing
vegetable, unless it specifically says organic AND safe for growing
vegetables.

Richard Evans 09-04-2009 06:18 PM

Building wooden containers
 
KTTT wrote:


I was thinking about using 2x untreated pine lumber and cover the inside
with may be two layers of heavy plastic. The paint section in Lowes or
Home Depot has these plastic sheets in various thickness.


I thought about that, but you still have to have drain holes through
both the plastic and the wood and that would allow water to seep
between the plastic and the wood, eventually causing rot.

I went to Lowe's yesterday to look for copper napthenate
preservatives, but apparently manufacturers are not required to list
ingredients on the cans. I called the 800 number for Thompson's and
they couldn't advise on toxicity, but did say their water sealer is
not suitable for ground-contact, which would include the inside of the
planter box.

So, I dropped that idea. My current plan is to buy plastic tubs used
to mix mortar. They are fairly large, deep, and cheap ($4.37 for the
one's at Lowe's). I plan to build a frame with legs and no bottom. I
can then just drop in the mortar box with the lip resting on the edge
of the frame. I can drill drain holes in the box, but with no bottom
in the wood frame that won't affect the wood. I can then paint the
frame any way I want because it won't contact the dirt.


Well, I abandoned the wooden container idea. It's just too much work to
build two dozens or so 2'x2' containers for me. I ended up with some
cheap plastic planters.


Yes, I'm using a lot of the cheap black nursery pots. They work fine
for one plant/one container plants like tomatoes, cabbage, head
lettuce etc. I also have a lot of plastic pails that originally
contained forty pounds of cat litter. A couple of drainage holes, and
they work fine too.

Now I need some long trays to plant seed crops like carrots and
onions.

I bought a child's wading pool at Wal-Mart: three feet in diameter, a
foot deep. Cost $10. That's going to be my strawberry patch.

I've already spent way more than I can possibly justify by any
vegetables I might harvest, but I figure this year I'm getting the
bugs out of the process and next year will be much cheaper.



KTTT 09-04-2009 07:33 PM

Building wooden containers
 
Richard Evans wrote:

I thought about that, but you still have to have drain holes through
both the plastic and the wood and that would allow water to seep
between the plastic and the wood, eventually causing rot.


There is a plumbing device called bulkhead (which is not carried by
either Lowes or Home Depot) that you can use to channel the drainage and
keep water from seeping between the plastic and the wood. A sample of
this device is at this website. The only problem is that it might not
be long enough to go though the 1.5" thick bottom of the container. You
might have to chiseled out the wood surrounding the bulkhead to make it
fit through.

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_Aquari...strainers.html

So, I dropped that idea. My current plan is to buy plastic tubs used
to mix mortar. They are fairly large, deep, and cheap ($4.37 for the
one's at Lowe's). I plan to build a frame with legs and no bottom. I
can then just drop in the mortar box with the lip resting on the edge
of the frame. I can drill drain holes in the box, but with no bottom
in the wood frame that won't affect the wood. I can then paint the
frame any way I want because it won't contact the dirt.


That's a much better idea. I just check Lowes website and the largest
mixing tub they have is this one:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...608&lpage=none

It costs $13.18 though, but I think is still much better, at least in my
"requirements".

I've already spent way more than I can possibly justify by any
vegetables I might harvest, but I figure this year I'm getting the
bugs out of the process and next year will be much cheaper.


I got the same "problem" too. I used to go with those expensive big
self-watering planters. With the cost of potting soils and other
gardening "toys", I always end up on the losing side every year. I plan
to go big this year with the vegetable growing but can't afford the
expensive stuff anymore.

Pat Barber 09-04-2009 07:35 PM

Building wooden containers
 
If you know any restaurant folks, most throw away
many five gallon buckets, which are ideal for plants.

I would recommend building sites, but I suspect that
is a thing of the past for quite a while.

A five gallon bucket with a few drilled drain holes
is excellent, but not very pretty.


Richard Evans wrote:

I guess I should have qualified my question: I'm not doing raised
beds, I'm building standalone containers to set on my deck. Literally
wooden pots of varying sizes.


Richard Evans 09-04-2009 09:23 PM

Building wooden containers
 
KTTT wrote:


That's a much better idea. I just check Lowes website and the largest
mixing tub they have is this one:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...608&lpage=none

It costs $13.18 though, but I think is still much better, at least in my
"requirements".


Yes, that's my preference, but they were out of stock. I have several
of the smaller ones on hand, so I'll use those first while I look for
the larger ones. I gotta stop pretty soon because the deck is getting
full.

I got the wading pool set up today but haven't filled it with soil
yet. Once I get everything planted, I'll post some pictures somewhere.

Richard Evans 09-04-2009 09:24 PM

Building wooden containers
 
Pat Barber wrote:

If you know any restaurant folks, most throw away
many five gallon buckets, which are ideal for plants.


Yes, I've been thinking about doing some dumpster diving behind Lowe's
and Home Depot.

Sue[_6_] 09-04-2009 10:13 PM

Building wooden containers
 
You could build your pretty box to hide a bunch of those white plastic
buckets. In fact, I've been thinking of that myself... got a few and could
get a few more.
The mortar mixers look too shallow for anything but herbs.

Sue
"Richard Evans" wrote in message
...
Pat Barber wrote:

If you know any restaurant folks, most throw away
many five gallon buckets, which are ideal for plants.


Yes, I've been thinking about doing some dumpster diving behind Lowe's
and Home Depot.




KTTT 10-04-2009 05:18 AM

Building wooden containers
 
Richard Evans wrote:
Pat Barber wrote:

If you know any restaurant folks, most throw away
many five gallon buckets, which are ideal for plants.


Yes, I've been thinking about doing some dumpster diving behind Lowe's
and Home Depot.


You can go to any new construction site, paying attention to when they
do the drywall or painting so that you can pick up the throw-away
5-gallon buckets. The only drawback is that if you have a bunch of
these assorted color buckets on the deck, somehow, it doesn't look like
a ...garden anymore. :-)

Yes, Pat, you can go to (most of) these construction sites to pick up
stuff from the trash cans. Most of the time, they won't say anything.
But in some subdivisions where theft is a problem, the superintendents
might stop to ask what your business is if you don't look like one of
the workers. So act cool, like you are a ...Mexican. You can get all
the buckets you want. :-)

Lowe's also has these buckets for about 2.50 or 2.99. They still don't
look pretty but if you have a bunch of them in the same size and color,
it would not look so bad either.


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