Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Build a raised Herb Garden from Repurposed Box Springs

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Our new furniture FINALLY arrived the other day.  The old furniture was already out in the rec room, but our old bed was still in our room. Cause, you know, we needed somewhere to sleep for the past month.

I had just finished getting the chicken feeder project wrapped up, which you can read about below, so, ALyse was ready to put me to work.

So, after breaking down the old bed, Alyse informed me that I needed to drag the old box spring and mattress out to the curb. The box spring is actually two twin boxsprings that were sat together.  No problem. I have this lawnmower with a small trailer that will make quick work of that.

After reloading the mattress 5 times between the front door and the road and ultimately giving up on the lawnmower idea all together, I went back for the two box springs. 

In that moment of fatigue, the perfect storm of ideas hit me.

First, after building this chicken pen, I had a new appreciation for the cost of constructions. Laying before me were two perfectly good box springs made of wood. While I had no used for them in their current configuration, I was too cheap to throw out perfectly good wood. 

Ok, so let me just stop there and come clean. 

What really happened was that I complained to Alyse that I didn't want to go through that again. And, we could use the wood (totally an excuse not to work, but bear with me.) She took one look at the two box springs and said....

"You should build a raised herb garden to put inside the pool fence."

And Cousin Eddy said:

Sure, that got me out of a lot of work, but it also accomplished a lot of other things.

First off, if you don't cook with fresh herbs, you are missing out COMPLETELY. A fresh minced sprig of dill is worth a whole bottle of the dried equivalent. And, there is NOTHING better than fresh sweet basil on a caprese salad. Right now, I had no herbs. They were left at the old house. 

I use both in my favorite salad recipe:

Best5Zach's Vinaigrette Cucumber Salad

Secondly, it would allow me to have my herbs right out the back door. The fenced in pool area is right out the back door and there is no available land to plant due to concrete and lava rock. A raised bed would allow me to have my herbs within reach. 

And lastly, it allowed me to repurpose something while saving me work. Ok, that isn't quite right. I would be working MORE doing this, but at least it was for a good cause.

First thing I did was remove all of the padding and cloth. Easy enough.I even managed NOT to stick myself with 30 year old staples. 

Then came removing the staples. Not so bad. But, during all the prying and jerking to remove the old staples which held the cloth and padding on......

That's when I realized that the entire box spring was held together with staples, even the wood sections, which provided no structural rigidity. That would have to be addressed immediately before the entire thing fell apart..literally. So, I picked up a box of screws from my shelves(because I think fasteners are one of the most important items you should stock up on, read the following blog) and went to town.

On the first box spring, I went ahead and left the slats on the bed (the slats run across the mattress between the rails to keep you from falling through) and added a screw to each end, plus on to the middle beam. Then, I flipped it over so that the slats were on the ground and the box spring was open end up.

On the second box spring, I knocked all of the slats off completely and added them to the first set, because the slats were spaced around 6" apart and that was too wide to hold the earth we would be filling these with. Now, instead of 6" centers, we were down to around 1" between each slat. Perfect for holding the earth. 

On both of the box springs, I left the center runner in so that I could divide the bed into two sections. Filling up the whole thing in one siting, even with earth, would be a chore. I figured I would fill one side up and plant it, leaving the other open for some other planting session.

I then stacked the second box spring on top of the first and screwed the running boards together, which secured the two into one solid structure. 

I then covered both sides with landscaping paper.

Then, we moved it inside the pool fence where we filled it with a mixture of potting soil and earth before we planted the 2 sweet basil, 1 Rosemary and 2 dill plants. It took 1.5 rolls of landscaping paper, 4 bags of potting soil, 2 bags of earth to fill half the frame. 

Now, I have half a mind to put a set of 6" caster wheels on this thing so I can move it. 

It will also need to be water proofed, either with stain, paint, or siding. Your choice. 

List of Materials
  • Two twin size box springs
  • 1 box of multi-purpose screws
  • 2 rolls of landscaping paper
  • 8 bags of potting soil
  • 4 bags of earth
  • Your choice of herbs or flowers
  • Your choice of water-proofing agents (pain, sealant, stain, or siding)
List of Tools
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Cordless Driver
  • Box Knife