Box Gardens allow anyone with a bit of space and creativity to start a small garden with lots of impact. Similar to the concept of square foot gardening, box gardening is designed to take advantage of the maximum amount of workable space in a small area. The basic steps include building the box, inserting the soil, picking compatible crops and maintaining the garden as it grows. Here are some ideas to help you start your new garden.
Boxes for box gardens can be purchased at a local landscape supply store if you wish to stick to smallish window boxes. For the more adventurous gardener you can get everything you need from the local home supply store. First determine the size you wish your boxes to be. 2 feet by 2 feet is pretty standard and you will be able to reach all areas within the box easily. 3 feet on a side is also doable, but the soil needed goes up exponentially, either way, make sure the box is about a foot deep.
Make the sides from pressure treated lumber or redwood. Redwood is very resistant to rot and doesn’t have chemical, but of course is more expensive. Cut your wood to the right length, use galvanized screws and screw the sides together. Galvanized screws will resist rust. Place the box where you want it, make sure it is relatively level, and fill it with a good soil. If you need to do this on a patio, use some heavy plastic on the bottom and staple it into place.
Using some sort of marking device, divide your new box into four or more sections. When you figure out what you want to grow the local landscape supply store can help you pick varieties that grow well together and will do well in your region. Flowers as well as food plants do well in box gardens and the smaller space means less weeding. Tomatoes do particularly well in a box, and if you have room for the vines to spread, so do a number of squashes and pumpkins.
If you are planting multiple boxes consider making one of your little gardens an herb garden. Herbs grow very well in small spaces and will provide flavor to your food all summer. You can also freeze herbs for use through the winter, keeping alive the flavor of your garden all year long. Another good choice is to plant a bunch of complimentary flowers in one box. You can choose colors that coordinate or select flowers that will bloom at different times of the summer providing you with color all season long. If you time things correctly you can put plants very near one another, because they won’t be blooming at the same time. Again, this is a good time to make use of that local landscaping supplier to ensure picking the right combination of plants.
Box gardening is simple, low maintenance and fun. The perfect way to use small spaces or an ideal way to encourage young children to come out into the garden, box gardens are versatile, relatively inexpensive and pretty.