Encouraging people to start a garden is always risky. Giving them the right amount of advice is hard, I love gardening and can talk plants far too long. Starting small is how I think most gardeners start well.
A friend has been thinking about starting a garden, but he recently started a new job and has a very young family so he is very busy. I searched for ways to help him try a small garden patch without adding to much stress. Whenever I am looking for creative ideas I check out Instructables.com. There I found a creative idea, a wooden wine box planter. The Finger Lakes Region of New York is known for grapes and wine grapes. So I thought I would be able to find wood wine boxes, but it was not as easy as I hoped. So I decided to build my box.
I could not find three inch perforated pipe. My local home stores only stock four inch perforated pipe. I cut the pipe to length. It cuts easily with a hand saw.
Then I used a utility knife to cut a “hole” in the drain pipe so I could screw in PVC coupler.
The corrugated pipe is difficult to cut a circle in. So I started in the center and made cuts out and then cut out the wedges. In the picture you can see the hole is more square than round, but the coupler shaped the hole when I twisted it in.
Then I cut one inch PVC pipe to create the down spout.
So far I felt like everything was going well. I was trying to think about what my friend would need while going through this process. I thought, as a new gardener, having a watering guide might be helpful. I had a piece of rigid foam and an extra dowel in my workshop. So I stuck them together and placed them in the perforated pipe. Hopefully they will float and indicate the water level.
Then the most fulfilling step, filling it with soil. I used an organic potting mix soil from a local home center. This time of year the price is very good.
I think I may add some trim to make everything look a bit better. I also need to test the water level indicator. When I pass this along to my new gardener friend I think I will pass along some information about the “Square Foot Garden” method. With a square foot garden box and Mel Bartholomew’s square foot garden method my friend has a good start. I hope this is an inspiring experience for him and his family.
I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. I hope you are able to enjoy some rest and have safe travels.
Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.