Five Tips for Making Container Gardens From Wooden Shipping Crates

27 March 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Wooden shipping crates be a fun way to make a container garden in your yard or on your patio. If you're looking for unique gardening ideas, consider these tips. They can help you convert shipping crates into a garden.

1. Consider the Safety of the Wood

Remember that some wooden shipping crates and pallets are treated with chemicals. The chemicals help protect the wood from degradation or pest infestations during use, but you may not want those same chemicals leaching into your gardening soil or plants. To be on the safe side, look over the wooden crates you are considering buying, and see if they have any stamps or symbols. There are keys online that can explain what the symbols mean. Also, keep in mind that if certain chemicals have been shipping in the crates, they may have spread to the wood. You may just want to buy new shipping crates so that you can ensure their safety and that they are new.

2. Play With Different Sizes

To create visual intrigue in your container garden, you may want to use crates of different sizes. Small crates can work for herbs, whilst large ones are better for potatoes, courgettes, and tomatoes. With different sizes, you can arrange the crates in a tiered pattern so you can easily see everything at once.

3. Place Crates Slightly Off the Ground

The moisture from the ground can get into the wood on the bottom of your crates and cause them to wear out prematurely. To prevent this, you may want to place a moisture proof barrier between the ground and your shipping crates. Alternatively, balance the crate on some timber or a pallet. Then, replace that wood as needed.

4. Line the Shipping Crates

Of course, you also want to protect the interior of your shipping crate from moisture, and to do that, you should line the crate with waterproof plastic. You can staple it in place and then put in the dirt. You can buy this at most landscaping or gardening shops. Punch a few holes in the bottom layer to allow for drainage. You may also want to place a layer of gravel on the base of the crate above the soil, as that also helps with drainage.

5. Consider Building Cold Frames Over the Containers

You may also want to add cold frames to your wooden shipping containers. In simple terms, a cold frame is just a frame of wood — you can build it using the lid of your shipping crates or random scrap wood. Then, there is clear polyethylene attached to the frame. This creates a greenhouse effect that nurtures young plants, especially during cool spring or fall months. You can remove the frame in the summer, but it helps lengthen your growing seasons.