Saturday, October 11, 2014

Garden Boxes from Pallets and Hoop Garden

Hoop garden skeleton frame
I spent some quality time in the backyard today. Lots to think about and working with my hands seems to help. I had already taken multiple pallets apart to supply enough planks for two 3x3 raised bed garden boxes.

I flipped them over and used more planks to cover the bottom. I filled them with pine needles since there's an abundance on the ground. I used them mostly to fill in the cracks on the bottom of the boxes. Then I mixed in some of the coffee grounds I was collecting from the coffee cart at work. They just throw away all of their grounds so I figured I'd bring some home. I know it makes the soil very acidic so I won't use very much.

Free pallet wood makes me happy happy happy.
I filled the garden boxes about 1/3 full and plan on putting soil from the chicken coop in the rest. That soil will be mixed with plenty of chicken manure and should be a nice medium to experiment with during the next growing season.

I drove some rebar in the ground and bent some 3/4" pvc pipe to meet at the apex using a 45 degree elbow.  Right now, I'm just building a mock-up of the structure. When I get everything in place, I'll take it apart and glue it all for strength.

Dried pine needles and coffee grounds
I'd like to think I could put a heat lamp under the cover of the hoop garden and try to grow something over the winter months.

Anybody know of anything that can be grown in Nov/Dec/Jan just for fun?



  1. If anyone tells you that pine needles will make your bed too acidic, here is web posting that explains it very well:

  2. I can't seem to be able to make that link clickable, so you will have to copy and paste it into your browser.

  3. Greens are what you can grow in a hoop house in the cold. Spinach, chard, collards, etc. They grow slower when it's cold but actually taste better if they've been hit by frost. Take a look at Four-Season Harvest or The Winter Harvest Handbook both by Eliot Coleman who grows vegetables in a greenhouse in Maine.

  4. I would guess that your growing medium will be too "hot" and will kill anything you put in there. Maybe better to just let it compost down over this winter.

    Good luck

  5. Incandescent christmas lights will also work for heat, and you can wind them around the growing plants as long as you make sure you get the outdoor safe ones. They're what I used to keep my little green-house warm this past spring. The heat from the composting base MIGHT help with that too as long as it doesn't get TO hot and kill the seeds.

    Alot of the greens (lettuce, broccoli, etc) will apparently grow well as long as you can keep them above freezing. I've never personally tried it (I was hoping to give it a run this winter, but I don't think its going to happen unfortunetly).


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