Spring is now upon us and warm weather will soon follow, or at least I hope so! With the spring and summer months comes the promise of fresh and home grown vegetables. I love having access to fresh and home grown foods, as it just makes everything taste better. But having access to these delicious foods can be difficult when you don’t live in a house or even have the space for a garden.

My husband, J, and I live in a townhouse and while we do have a patio, the entire area is paved. For years I’ve been procrastinating about planting some veggies in pots. I think a part of me doesn’t think that a good vegetable garden can be in pots…and the other part of me is just lazy :-P  Well now, thanks to the ever amazing and addictive Pinterest, I have found the perfect solution. I’m going to make a garden box!! Genius, I tell you, genius!

Based on all of the websites that I’ve looked at I should have started at the beginning of March rather than the beginning of April, but oh well. I’m not very good at growing things, but I’m hoping that now that I’m older things will change. It also helps that J is great at gardening…it’s nice to have backup! I have decided that I am going to grow about 11 different types of vegetables so I need to make sure that I have enough room for all of the veggies to grow.

I decided to base my design on the one that I found at Boys Life (thanks Pinterest) as it seems to have enough room for everything, plus some extra if I decide to add more veggies to my list. I decided to purchase a metal lattice for the veggies to climb on, rather than build the additional part of the garden box. The garden box uses the same principals as the ‘square foot gardening’ method that uses a 4 ft x 4 ft wooden box that allows for 16 individual square feet garden plots. The whole idea behind it is a small but highly organized and packed garden area, which is exactly what I’m looking for.

Compact Vegetable Garden

Compact Garden Box

Compact Vegetable Garden

The Final Product


I’m hoping that this system helps me actually grow some vegetables and not just kill them all and have an empty square garden.

The whole project has been fairly affordable. As for the total cost, you’re looking to spend approx. $81.24 for soil, wood, landscaping/weed mesh and nails. We splurged on a more expensive, organic soil so that was about $2-3 per bag more  than other options, but we’ve used this one in the past and decided it was worth the extra $$, especially as I am wanting to have an organic garden.

Here’s a breakdown of what I ended up using for my garden box, if you are interested in trying your own:

  • 4 x 4ft 2×10’s (I bought 2 2’x10’x8′ boards and had them cut in half)
  • 12 x 16d (3 1/2″) finishing nails
  • landscaping/weed mesh (enough to line the box)
  • 8 x 32L soil
  • Twine or string for marking squares
  • 12 x 1/2″ wide-topped nails (I used these to secure the twine for each plot)
    • I am considering replacing with hooks so that I can easily remove the plot separators for easier access to the entire area

I built it over 2 days, but only because I got started late in the afternoon/evening and ran out of soil so I had to finish it off the next day. I’d say it took only about 2 hours max from start to finish, which is not too shabby.

If you’re wondering what I’ve got planned for my vegetable box, stay tuned for next week’s post with all the details, plus some great information about vegetable gardening that I’ve picked up in my quest for growing knowledge  :-)