Lessons Learned

It only took seven or so hours!

Here's a list of lessons I learned in the five or so weeks that I've been playing with these plants.

1. There are little plastic plug containers for a reason. Use them! (I destroyed so many seedlings trying to move them from my Amazon boxes to the planter box, because their roots were just, like, in the ground.)

2. Measure twice cut once is the saying, but for me? Measure at least twenty times, and have someone else cut. (I only measured five times, but only the last two were for the design I ended up deciding on. I had someone else cut for me, but it seems simple arithmetic is beyond me.)

3. Don't construct a big wooden planter box inside your studio apartment when there are people living next to you, below you, and sometimes inside you. They will get annoyed and bang on the wall/ceiling/come complain to your face.

4. Figure out a proper way to attach wood prior to attempting to attach said wood together. This lesson will help avoid bent nails/screws sticking out of the wood/broken or stripped drill bits.

5. Buy the correct size of drill bit for the screws you're using to avoid having to wiggle the bit around to make a properly sized hole. Luckily, the 1/8-inch drill bits come in packs of two, because the manufacturer realizes that senseless people will break at least one before learning the lesson. (Clueless people will break two, as I did. The second one is currently shoved in between the bottom 2x4 and the left-most support 2x4.)

6. Buy enough soil.

With those lessons having been learned, I think I did not so bad a job at constructing my first garden! We'll see how well the plants do in it...

See? Look! At 234 pounds, I can stand in my planter box without it breaking--after I fixed the first break. One of the 2x4s at the bottom hadn't been properly attached to the 4x4, so the support slats at the bottom were attached, but what they were attached to just ripped out of its moring as I hopped out of the planter. But I'm glad I checked it first, which spurred me to screw things in more properly and then add a few extra screws along the bottom on the sides.

By the way, I know I have 280 pounds of soil and 100 pounds of gravel, but I wondered how much the wood itself weighs. I did some checking online... And I calculated 450 pounds for my 2x4s and my 4x4s. That seems high, but then, I tried moving the beast after putting it together (even without any soil), and dang, it was difficult. After adding almost 400 more pounds to it, I was barely able to shove it into the position it's in now. I can believe that it weighs 830 pounds (not including plants, nails/screws/drill bits, plastic, or water).

But having completed this project... I have a small sense of satisfaction... It's almost smugness, but also the way you look at a child who is just learning how to walk. Proud, nostalgiac, and a bit forlorn for the innocence and wonder of constant discovery. Now that I am done, the next milestone is months away. It's just a waiting and watching game until then! (How true will that statement be...? I anticipate insect issues.)

Here's a video for your entertainment:

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2 Responses to Lessons Learned

  1. Great to see that your big planter is finished! You made it before I could assemble my infamous nursery (planned since more than a year).

    Is it a blasphemy to suggest some light plastic containers to make it company? IKEA sells gigantic plastic boxes they think are for storing clothes (for my own part I'm planning potatoes :) ). Plastic may not have that natural feel, but it saves pounds on the weight.

  2. LoL it isn't blasphemy to suggest plastic! I was just trying to recreate my childhood planter box. It seemed so much bigger when I was 4, y'know? And maybe it was bigger, I am not sure. But this is what I have now, and I made it myself--I can't easily make plastic boxes by myself!

    Granola, however, is in the oven--gotta go grab it before it burns!



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