Friday, April 3, 2015

...And More Projects

I started the previously posted office remodeling project knowing full well that once warmer weather got here, it would be on the back burner. I just have too many other projects that need to get done. One of those is to eventually start a garden. We had a small one at our last place and we definitely have space for a much larger one here but there are several things holding us back. First, with my wife working full time and me fixing up a house and taking care of a two year old, there just isn't time for gardening. When the little one gets a little older and starts school, then I should have the time to properly devote to a garden. Second, the deer here are obnoxious. I don't mean they taunt me or leaving flaming bags of poop on my front porch. There are just so many of them that they purposely treat my lawn as a smorgasbord at night. Nothing is sacred or undiscovered to them. So any garden I create, will have to have Alcatraz like fortifications around it to prevent the deer from entering. Such fortifications take time so thus we decided to do something that doesn't require much time.

Above is my solution to this problem. I built a large cedar planting container for my wife to reside out on the back deck assuming the deer don't climb the seven steps to get up to it from our side yard. I sized it to span between two beams and on top of two support columns so it should be able to take the weight. It should be enough to plant a couple tomato plants and perhaps a few spices and salad stuff as well. The one drawback is that it is on the opposite side of the house as our outside spigot so I will have to get a long hose to water it this summer. Even if I have to carry water in buckets, if it makes the wife happy for another couple years until the wee one is a bit older and I can create a better garden, it will be worth it.

The other project stems from the careless hammering of one of the fellows that helped me with the siding project last fall. While on scaffolding, he was backing up and didn't notice that the hammer dangling from his tool pouch proceeded his but by several inches and he broke the outer pane of our window. Since we were currently experiencing one of the coldest Novembers in memory, fixing the window was put on hold until spring. Since repairing the window was on his dime, I had to wait until he was there to take the window out. The first really warm week of spring came and went with no one showing up. The following week he showed up to get it fixed when the temperatures were below freezing every night. To seal up the window opening while the window was getting fixed, he brought a well used plastic garbage bag remnant that had to have several pieces taped together to fit the opening. He then taped it to the outside and tried his best to patch up the many holes and thin spots in the plastic and left. I could feel the breeze blowing right through it and the road in the valley sounded like it was right outside the window. I decided I had to do a better job so I found a scrap chipboard remnant in my garage big enough to fit the opening from the inside and finish nailed it into place. I'll have to do some putty and repainting work but for the next few days, at least my heater won't be running continuously to keep the house at a reasonable temperature.


sage said...

That's a nice looking planter. Do you plan to fill it with dirt or just put pots inside of it?

Ed said...

Sage - I bought some river rock on the bottom and then landscape fabric and soil to put over that. We've tried raising stuff in pots and buckets before but they just get too hot and dry out. I figured with a larger mass of soil, perhaps they will do a bit better than pots.

Anonymous said...

Cut water bottles, the big ones like you see in offices, so there's about a 4 inch dish. Then lay the matting for glasshouse tables, here it's called capillary matting, over the top.put a wideish pipe in each of the trays. Then fill with soil.
What you'll have is a homemade reservoir. And if you make it big enough, you'll get 10 days out of a fill during the heights of summer heat.
Oh, use the neck and collar of the water bottles to form support pillars.

ErinFromIowa said...

I am so jealous of that planter and the delicious things that will grow in it! :)

edifice rex said...

All my store bought clay pots fell apart this past winter so I've been thinking about building a very similar cedar planter for my deck. Mine will most likely be a bit smaller, and I have the garden, but it's very handy to grow herbs and such right on the deck.

Ed said...

Vince - I ended up putting a layer of river rock and then just buying bulk potting soil to fill the rest. It contained water absorbing molecules that slowly release it back to the soil so perhaps it will work fairly decent.

Erin - Not as jealous as I am of those who have a proper garden!

Edifice Rex - I ended up on that size just to maximize the boards without a lot of scrap. I had eight foot lumber and cutting them to six feet long, leaving two feet for the ends seemed too short and not enough room so I left them full length and cut two boards up for the ends, runners and corner strengthening pieces.