Discussion in 'Ideas' started by madd fox, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. madd fox

    madd fox Fire Starter

    Being a retired guy and my honey wanting garden boxes, I racked my brain to think of something I could build them out of that wouldn't send me to the poor house. (very old term) Well what I came up with was an idea that metal garage doors get run into, it usually only damages the bottom section. So you call a garage door company out and they replace the whole door. If you check with them either they will give them to you or you could pay scrap metal price for them, or maybe a portion of that on a good day. Now what I am talking about is the foam insulated metal doors. What I did was to cut them with my skill saw, w/metal cutting blade, to build a 4 ft. square garden box. Then I pulled the foam out of each end of each piece of the G/door that you now have and cut the foam off the width of a

    2 X 8, cut a 2 X 8 the length needed to replace the foam taken from each end of your G/door pieces. You will need to have the wood in order to fasten the G/door sections together to make up the square garden box. I used a 4 X 4 cut on the bias to form a wedge in the corner that I ran screws through and into that 2 X 8 in the G/door sections. I supposed you could get some galvanized angle iron to hold everything together, instead of the cut 4 X 4's.

    There will be some sharp edges, so I finished off the outside corners with 1 X 6 cedar fence pieces, then cut a corner wedge to cover each top corner of the garden box. The garage doors probably won't need painted but I did stain the cedar corners. This thing looks great, most doors have some kind of design on them that helps a lot with the look.

    I did make 4' X 4' boxes but if I were to do it again, I would do a 4' X 6' box. the g/door sections are strong enough to hold the dirt. Well now I should talk about the dirt. These boxes are about 18" high, that's a lot of dirt, what I did was, I filled the bottom half with shredded tree branches, there was a place near by that the city took downed limbs and there was a huge machine that smashed them up. This was free for the taking. then I ordered a garden mix to finish filling the boxes with, it was peat moss, compost, vermiculite, sand and top soil. Years after I put it in there you could just plunge your fingers into it, Don't need no dang tiller. I got some metal posts like they use for stop signs and fastened them on one end with fencing material attached for things to climb on, green beans etc. These

    posts also get screwed into those 2 X 8 pieces, they are very useful.

    This is a secret that we will need to keep within SMF so there isn't a run on used garage doors. LOL

    Actually I have not shared this with anyone but family and so that continues. 
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like a great idea!  Can you post some Qview of them for us?
  3. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Great idea!  Recycling at it's best.[​IMG]
  4. madd fox

    madd fox Fire Starter

    I will try, we moved away from there, Fort Wayne, five years ago to Indy. At the time we didn't have a camera that was computer friendly. Right now we are visiting our daughter and she thinks she has pics of the boxes, I'll see what we can do. I have never tried to post pics before.
  5. madd fox

    madd fox Fire Starter

    Just a little more information on this. The size of the box was based on something called "square foot gardening" by a guy by the name of Mel Bartholomew, which I saw on a gardening TV show, Victory Garden. His planting method can be found on the Internet. The idea is that you can easily reach the middle of the box to take care of your garden. I still think a 4' X 6' makes more sense using the garage door sides, because of their strength. You just need to be able to access both of the long sides.
  6. last year i had couple of raised beds ... about three feet high ... no bending and i loved them until the surrounding tree roots and torpedo grass took over ... and the wood started to rot.  this year i wracked my brain for something that wouldn't rot to make a bed out of and found and old garage door behind a friend's house ... told her i wanted to make a garden box out of it and she gave it to me.

    i took the panels apart and used four to make a square garden box.  i dug a trench and buried it about 3-4 inches ... and got it square enough that the corners sort of snapped into each other and put soil in it from my lost beds.  i didn't have the energy to build a no bend box and my hubby was busy so i just put it in the best i could.  i made one out of concrete blocks one year and the garage doors look so much better.

    i may make some mods to it as i can ... maybe tool holders and a work tray.

    it's pretty cool what people can do .... yours sounds amazing madd fox.

    here's what my garage door garden bed looks like before i planted in it.

  7. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wow that really looks nice - great job
  8. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i use cinder blocks with a running bond pattern with no morter so i can expand, move or tear down with ease....
  9. the problem i had with the cinder blocks were fire ants undermining them.  i even bought caps, but didn't mortar them in ... it looked great for a while, but then it all got wonky ... but i only did one course.  i used to go out each day with boiling water to pour on the ants because i was afraid of using poison in the garden.  i like using blocks ... my husband didn't like the way it looked .. but he likes the garage door garden so that's good.

    my yellow squash just started blooming!  happy gardening everybody!
  10. LilWren....nice job....the only thing I would have done differently, I would make the beds Four foot wide. This bed you have to walk on your garden soil. If it was 4 foot wide, you could reach in from the side and not pack your soil down....I plant my tomatoes in beds 4' x 24' and 16 inches tall...that way I can add 8" of Shredded Straw as mulch to hold in moisture...I know you don't have to worry bout Luck


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