Frugal Friday: Build Your Own Garden Box



It’s spring! Which means it’s shoulder season and the weather can make getting outside somewhat awkward (why is it raining so much on the weekends?!).  If you find yourself stuck at your house, make an investment in your future eating life and build yourself a garden box! This project is fun, can save you money on your groceries, and helps you learn some new skills! You will have to actually plant something and water it which is a continued time and money cost, but it’s pretty minimal and gardening offers relaxation and a sense of accomplishment. I’m in.

This project will cost you about $35. You will need 10 2x4s (about $3.30 each) and a box of 50 wood screws (around $3).

Step 1) Realize that you have a drill and should use it or find a friend with a drill and ask to borrow it.

Step 2) Go to your local lumber selling place such as Home Depot and put 10 2x4s (studs) on your wood cart.  Ask the nice lumber guy to cut 3 of them in half, and 1 of them in 12inch pieces.

Step 3) Buy the wood and a big box (50) of 2.5 inch wood screws.  Maybe get extra screws if you think you will strip a lot of them.

Step 4) Build the box.  Your 6 long boards are the sides, the 6 short boards are the ends, and the 12 inch pieces are the corners.  Your walls will be 3 boards high, put the 2 inch sides together so that you get the max height from you boards.  Lay out the boards in the manner described. Your corner pieces will the the anchor for your sides, they will go inside the corners of the box.  Screw your side boards and end boards to the corner pieces, starting with the bottom layer and moving up. Don’t screw the screws in all the way tight until you are completely done attaching all the boards.  Once the box is together, screw all the screws nice and tight- wala!

Step 5) Remove any weeds or grass from the ground you will be placing your box and level that dirt.  Place the box on your prepped ground.

Step 6) Hop on Craigslist and respond to one of the 10000 posts for free fill dirt.  Look for a post indicating that the person is getting rid of dirt that was in their garden or lawn (good dirt) and maybe even someone who will deliver.  It took me 30 seconds to find someone who would deliver a bunch of garden dirt for a 6-pack of beer. Craigslist is THE BEST.

Step 7) Plant your plants! Go to a local nursery and ask what will be best for you.  You can buy seeds and start them inside, plant your seeds outside depending on your growing season, or plant pre-started baby plants (recommended for veggies like tomatoes that require a long growing season).  

Go Forth and Harvest!

So domestic.

So domestic.