Growing your own food is a wonderful thing. Living in an apartment does limit my food-growing abilities (as does my black thumb), but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. Living in an apartment also means neighbors come and go and throw out very useful things. Recently, a neighbor threw out their Ikea bed. I salvaged the wood slats and with some empty CD cases that I pulled from the recycle bin at work, I was able to make an over-the-railing herb planter for free. Here’s how I did it.
- 4 wood boards
- Wood screws
- A drill and a wood drill bit
- Wood stain and sealer
- 7 plastic CD lids, the kind from a multi-pack of blank CDs
- Hot glue gun
Step 1: Prepare the boards and containers.
- The boards I salvaged were the perfect size to my railing and required no cutting. I lucked out. Each board measures 26.5″ x 3.5″ .75″. Here’s how I planned to fit them together.
- I lined up the boards, measured in from each side a couple of inches and marked where the screws would go. Then, I pre-drilled the holes. I also set the containers on the ledge piece and pre-drilled through both the container and the board. The containers made a nice holder for loose screws while I worked.
- My boards were not pressured treated, so I stained and sealed the boards. I did this after pre-drilling so that some stain and sealer would seep into the holes and help seal any point moisture could get in. I used both a paint brush and a paper towel to apply the stain. I painted it on, then wiped to spread it and remove the brush strokes.
Step 2: Build it!
- Once the boards were stained, sealed and completely dry, I screwed the boards together. I made sure to double-check that the screws wouldn’t go completely through the board, creating a hazards for me or my railing. After all, I do want my deposit back.
- I placed the containers on the ledge piece and screwed them in as well. To help seal the container, I filled the holes with hot glue.
Step 3: Plant things.
- Fill each container with a layer of rocks.
- Add soil and herbs of your choice.
As you can see, I haven’t filled all the containers yet. Nor is my black thumb gone. I think the Ginger Mint might be coming back though. Fingers crossed!