A few weeks ago, while catching up on my daily news via Flipboard, I came across an article on how to make salad tables and salad boxes.
Even though I have a garden, thus making a salad table and/or box unnecessary, I decided to make one for two reasons:
- The salad box offers the potential to grow salad greens year round, as it is easy to pick up and move inside the few times it actually frosts over in Texas.
- The salad box is a very eye pleasing solution for people who only have a small outdoor area or balcony but still want to grow their own greens.
The Salad Box that I am going to make is 21 inches x 16.5 inches and will produce up to 2 lbs of lettuce during a regular growing season which is April – November.
Here is my finished product. After building it, I installed carrying handles, painted the outside and planted my greens. I can't wait to watch them grow!
Here is what you will need to get started.
1 piece of pine or cedar lumber that is 1”x4”x 6’
8 – 2 ½ inches screws
A piece of aluminum screen 17”x21”
A piece of hardware cloth 17”x21”
Staple gun and stables
2 cabinet knobs with hardware to attach (optional, but adds extra adorableness, and makes it a lot easier to carry)
Acrylic stain or latex paint
First you will need to cut your lumber into 4 sections. 2 sections at 15 inches and 2 sections at 21 inches.
Next you will screw all 4 pieces together, using 2 screws at each intersection. Creating a rectangle like this.
Once the frame is built, you will first attach the aluminum screening. The screening allows wonderful drainage while not allowing the dirt to escape. The aluminum screening is attached along the bottom edge with a staple gun. Pull the screening at tight as possible
Next attached the hardware cloth. The hardware cloth provides additional support to the weight of the dirt, while not compromising drainage. The hardware cloth is laid over the aluminum screening and also stapled into place.
Any staples that are not fully flush with the wood can be tapped in with a hammer.
Once screen and hardware cloth are attached your box should look something like this.
You can choose to plant at this point, or you can paint and attach hardware. If you paint, only paint the OUTSIDE of the box. Also cabinet knobs or handles can be attached to help carry your box and to add decoration.
Once your box is fully decorated it is time to add dirt or compost. Once dirt is added create 3 rows to drop your seeds into.
Add seeds and then cover
Put in an area that receives partial sun, and water regularly to keep the seeds and soil moist until sprouts appear.
In my box I planted a salad seed mix, a small leaf spinach, and cilantro.
Later this summer I am hoping to make an additional box which will be deeper and will be used to plant flowers. Also stay tuned for a tutorial on how to make a salad table, which needs much more time, tools, and space!
If you are interested in purchasing a salad box from Free Range Chick, visit our etsy page to purchase an already made salad box, or place an order for a custom size salad box or table at freerangechick.com/contact/.
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