Buckets barrels | more wood


And I still can’t stop making things! It could be the nice weather. It could be that I want to have an awesome garden. I may just be bored. But for the past couple of weeks it’s been all about the plants. As you might recall, I built a doghouse using some scrap wood. But it was an eyesore and Niz never used it. So I destroyed it and re-purposed the wood to prop up some rain barrels. I also made a handful of various kinds of planters, made from various buckets and boxes and what-nots. Check it out.

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Project 4: RaisedElevated Bed Planter

When you think of planters these days you think of the raised bed variety. They seem to be all over the internets. And in general, seem affordable to buy (pfft) or to make with the right materials. But when I think of a raised bed planter… well, I think of something a little higher up. So as I went about “designing” (i.e. scratching my head, holding pieces together), I made the legs a little over 3′ up off of the ground to keep the cats and dogs out, and to allow for a more comfortable gardening experience!

A few things worth mentioning here. I used some old treated wood for the legs (previously the doghouse), and pallet wood for the rest of the bed. Both treated and pallet woods can be quite toxic. Don’t lick these woods. Also, in general, you probably shouldn’t grow any plants with treated wood nearby as the chemicals are likely to leach into those innocent fellas–be especially careful with edible plants. In my case, I’ve used an impermeable membrane (trash bags, plastic) as a barrier to prevent leaching, but with a few holes to allow for drainage. Sounds feasible to me.

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Project 5: Rain Barrels

At this point, why not? I knew I wanted to collect from our gutters, and I knew I wanted some additional elevation to aid in pushing that water out. I found a nice guide here, but found an even better adaptation over at Instructables which implements a rain diverter to avoid any annoying overflow plumbing–and frankly, it looks better. But rather than spend money on a diverter that I wasn’t sure would even fit or work, I adapted one of the brilliant ideas developed by Contain Rain (you can also buy them direct, if you want).

This is where the rest of the former dog house wood was repurposed Big Smile.

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Project 6: SIP’s

After building a rain catchment system that holds shy of 110 gallons of rain water, I definitely needed more than just my porch-side, elevated planter. I did a little searching and found these clever ‘sub-irrigated planters’, or ‘self-watering buckets’, or ‘self-irrigating planters’. Whatever you want to call them, they work very well if you’re tight on planting space or plan on moving the plants around. Here’s one of the better diagrams I’d found. And below are my feeble snapshots during construction.


Make sure to include a hole for drainage in the reservoir bucket (that’s what I’m drilling in the first picture). I currently have about 6 of these puppies made up, and am ready to make about 6 more! If you have the 5 gallon pails, and some containers for the wicking area, you’ll just need to get some 1″ PVC pipe for the fill spout. Oh, and here’s an Insctructable in case you need some detailed instruction.

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Project 7: More Planters!

I haven’t even come close to draining half the water in these rain barrels! And they pretty much end up full after even the lightest rain. I need more planters!!! So I’ll be making planters, I think, until our mess of a yard becomes a mess of greenery. Here you go, enjoy a couple more planters I just put together with found materials and pallet pieces.

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