This year, I’ve undertaken a new endeavor: I’ve started a vegetable garden. It’s an ongoing process — no harvest yet, of course — but I’m already looking forward to fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and beans that will be transported about 15 feet from garden to kitchen.
In the process, I’ve come across a number of intriguing DIY projects for growing your own food. Here are five that can help make gardening easier and, maybe, more productive.
The raised bed planter: This project is at the heart of the method I’m using for my garden — Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening system. I used leftover bricks for mine, but there are lots of different materials you could (re)use to build a garden space (and avoid the digging!). GO’s Kelli Best-Oliver contributed one great plan for this.
- The upside-down planter: Yes, I’m fascinated with the Topsy Turvy, but am going to try making my own out of reused 2-litre soda bottles. I’ve found a number of different plans available online that make use of a variety of containers.
- The cold frame: I won’t need one of these until the end of the year, but if frost is still an issue for you, check out these various plans (including one from Green Options’ Philip Proefrock) for keeping your seedlings warm.
- The compost bin: Yep, I’m growing my vegetables organically. I bought one of those black recycled plastic bins, but you can easily find plans for bins you can make from reused materials. If you want to compost indoors, here’s a plan I found for a DIY worm bin.
- The rain barrel: Plants love rainwater, but commercially-available barrels are a bit pricey. Recently, the Fun Times Guide to Living Green ran a great series on DIY rain barrels… and there are many other plans available as well.
What’s your favorite DIY gardening project (other than planting, of course). Share it in the comments.
Looking for ideas on what to grow in your garden? Check out MNN’s guide on how to grow carrots.