UPDATE! It’s been a year since I bought my Gronomics garden boxes (I loved the first one so much I bought a second!). The boxes are holding up beautifully, despite the crazy South Texas weather. They’ve endured withering heat for months on end, drenching downpours and even a few hard freezes. Now that Spring is here again, I’ve just put out some fresh herbs, flowers, and even strawberries in my boxes. You can read more about how I plant in this post: How I Created My Elevated Organic Herb Garden. Happy Spring Planting, everyone!A gorgeous April afternoon in South Texas, sunny and warm, is a perfect time to do a little gardening. Admittedly in the past I’ve not been a terrific gardener. I’ve got the gung-ho spirit for sure, but more often than not, lack the follow-through. Vickie and I work well as a team in this area: I love to plant the gorgeous plants in my Metal Planters, and she saves the plants from me once they’re settled in their little ceramic homes. I got inspired by many design solutions of the landscape design company.
Well, this Spring (as happens every Spring in our house, and despite my declarations to Vickie the previous Summer to never allow me to plant again), I once again have the bug. Since we adopted a vegetarian lifestyle, I find myself using lots more fresh herbs in cooking than I did before. Anyone who has bought herbs from the grocery knows, those little cello-packages aren’t cheap!
(As I write this, I find myself staring at a sadly drooping houseplant…excuse me while I step away to water the poor thing and assuage my guilt)
A number of weeks ago I was trolling the web for instructions for raised garden beds, despite the fact that our current yard is not conducive to such endeavors. As I browsed, growing increasingly envious of each beautiful garden I saw, I came across the Gronomics 24x48x30″ Rustic Elevated Garden Bed. I paid $179 on Amazon (note that prices on Amazon do change, so check for the latest price) plus free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime, as opposed to $299 on the Gronomics website.
At 24 inches wide and 48 inches long, and with a 10″ growing depth, seemed to me the perfect container for my new herb garden. The total height of the bed is 30 inches (it stands on legs), and fits perfectly under our living room window in the backyard. When Vickie came home from work and saw the assembled bed sitting under the window, she remarked that we need to get another one for the other window…and I hadn’t even filled this one yet!
Okay, now for the fun part…assembling my garden so that I can fill it with leafy, tasty treats. I must admit I was a tad skeptical about Gronomics’ claim of “Tool Free Assembly”. I mean, I knew from the product description that the pieces were dovetailed or notched, thus eliminating the need for screws or nails. Still, I grabbed my trusty rubber mallet, figuring that I’d at least find myself pounding stubborn pins and notches into submission.
As I opened the box, I had the pleasure of a nice. refreshing, makes-me-want-to-be-outside-and-grow-stuff whiff of cedar. Intoxicating. The box was heavy (poor delivery guy!), so I ended up just leaving it in the garage and carrying the boards out to the yard a few at a time. Since I knew I’d be writing a how-to blog, I made them line up nicely and pose for a picture first:
The garden bed came with a simple-to-follow two-page instruction sheet (which is also available as a PDF on their website here). After I checked to make sure all of the parts were there, I was ready to go…
The first two steps involved assembling the long sides (basically just standing up two legs and sliding a long board down into the grooves to connect them). Repeat with the other two legs and long board and you’re already halfway to having the bottom of the frame assembled! The only thing to pay attention to here (aside from possible splinters!) is that you position the legs correctly so that the grooves face the right way.
Next, stand up the two long sides and use one short board on each end to join them, forming the bottom of the rectangular frame:
Slide the remaining two long boards and two short boards down into the grooves on top of the first ones to complete the height of the sides:
For the box bottom, locate the two bottom panels that have notches cut in two corners; these will rest on either end of the bottom, next to the legs:
Space the remaining bottom panels evenly along the support rails at the bottom of the long side panels. There will be a little space between each panel, which is necessary for proper drainage:
Whew! Almost done…and hopefully no splinters so far! The next couple of steps involve adding the top caps to the legs. First, remove the black plastic caps covering the screws on the tops of the legs:
Next, position a cap on top of one of the legs with the screw hole centered over the screw.
Now, just twist! Be careful not to over-tighten; the wood is so pretty, you don’t want it to split.
Once you’re ready to add soil and get to planting, lay down the black liner in the bottom of the bed.
Now, step back, pat yourself on the back and admire your work!
If you’re interested in following the progress of my herb garden, I’ll be writing blog post updates, including what type of soil I’m using, where I get my plants, how I plant them, how they progress, and any issues that come up!