The Time I Constructed a Salad Box

I built a thing! For the first time ever!

The “thing” is a salad box- I want to grow lettuce on our back patio so it’s close, I have better control over sun exposure, and hopefully will have less problems with pests. OK, also I saw one on Lydia Street and got really excited about using a power drill. The plan I used can be found here at The Simple Green Frugal Co-Op.

  • Cost: $30* I may or may not have scavenged the aluminum screen from someone’s curb on garbage pickup day
  • Time: 40 minutes** plus 75 minutes of trying to figure out how to use a power drill on YouTube
  • Tears: a few*** see previous
  • Blood: some

Lettuce only needs about 3.5 inches of soil and prefers good drainage, so this box (it has a mesh bottom) should keep me chewing on greens all summer. I transplanted my lettuce seedlings from the seed cells. I had tossed several seeds into each cell so the sprouts’ roots were a bit clumped together, but with a little teasing they came apart easily. I know it’s a bit of a hack job, but I am so proud of my first little project.

If someone had told me beforehand that screws need pilot holes I might have been spared a minor mid-project nervous breakdown

Finally putting the (pink) tool kit that my Mum got me for Christmas in 2008 to good use

I bet that you aren’t even appreciating my garbage-scavenging skills because you are too busy judging me for my St. Patrick’s Day sunglasses.

Injury sustained: puncture to right thumb. Minor. Unless my tetanus shot was overdue after all.

There is so much salad box happening in my backyard right now.


15 thoughts on “The Time I Constructed a Salad Box

    • Thanks for the inspiration! I think that you may have started something… now I am thinking of trying to build a composter. Also useful but way more screws and therefore much higher risk of general hijinx… and injury!

      • Just think of all of the life skills you’re developing! Using power tools, first aid, adding to your vocabulary of profanity … so useful!

  1. Gardening is my getaway from things – I find it so relaxing to plant and nourish over an extended period of time, and then reap the rewards in cooking and bright outdoors areas 🙂 This whole post made me smile. This would be perfect for cut-and-come-again greens on an outdoor bench. Salads. Every. Day.
    Best of luck with your later transplanting’s into the new garden, I look forward to seeing all the results!

    • Thanks, Matt! I have 2 questions for you: 1) How on God’s Green Earth did Adventure-Man find his way to my nerdy blog about gardening? I think your blog is great. Life-affirming, even. What am I doing staying at home to play in the mud when I could be whale-surfing off the coast of Easter Island or riding a go kart down from the top of Mount Everest? 2) Did I gather from your blog correctly that you are Australian? Because if so, the only thing I can think of that’s more exciting than constructing a salad box is the thought of how delightful the term “salad box” would sound with an Australian accent. Eiher way, I appreciate that the man who is “doing everything he always said he would” found time to read about me nerding-oiut in my backyard. I look forward to reading about more of your exploits!

      • haha Ok I will respond, but first let my head deflate and the blushing subside. I have never been called a man before in my life, let alone twice in one post 😛
        To be honest the gardening section of WordPress is my little guilty pleasure, and that’s where I found this. Why a guilty pleasure? Well, because the people on tv who have 30 years of carpentry know-how and wizardry, and equally as much time with their thumbs in bare earth and rich compost, make all these inspired contraptions and beautifully endless secret gardens. Yet I only have a small ring of dirt (some would say rubble) on my back fence, and I just can’t relate to them. I prefer to see what other’s are doing who have the same problems/situation as I do. That’s where your blog came in. I love that you moved to outer open space – I would suffice to say I’m green with envy. But that said, even people who move out take it for granted or say ‘oh, I’ll get around to gardening one day’… and they never do. Your blog motivates you to keep writing, and is honest as you learn the things those garden-show pin-ups know, simply because they made the same success/mistakes as you did, just a long time ago, pre-fame.
        So I honestly enjoyed reading your post – you made me want a salad box, to want to make one too, not just buy one. I neeeeeded a home-made salad box. (maybe not said with an aussie accent, but I said it twice, so I hope it comes across when you read this in your own most Australian-like mental version!) And I like that you could do it, blog it, celebrate it, and someday reap the rewards of it. Let alone all the other little challenges on your blog. Your Dill pubes made me giggle, because we’ve all done that. Mine was spring onions. Thought it would be great to greenhouse them in a plastic bag for a day – during mid summer – only to come back to see the wispy, grey, flat locks of any odd grandfather’s hair suspended in soil. But you have to laugh at those things and move on, which you did. There, realism, not some tv induced miracle. I prefer your slice. So simply put, thank you 🙂

        As for our blog, (and thank you for your bounding compliments!!), Connor and I had a laugh that we always say things and never do them. We were nowhere near each other when we had this realisation lol, but that’s the miracle of skype. And we decided that we needed to push ourselves to do it. We’d achieve more, if nothing else, but we also linked it to our happiness, and need to escape that constant feeling of monotony that develops as you plunder your way through university, with the repetition of assignments etc. So we hope that it in some way inspires people to go about things a little more hungrily in their own lives, but we don’t want to be seen as adventure-men (I did however giggle, strong mental image of Connor in plaid on a hill with an axe and a tobacco pipe. Never laughed harder. :P). Some of our challenges are at home, some are outdoors, some are crazy, some are very tame. But you have your own challenges on your blog, document them, and enjoy knowing you’ve overcome them. Well, this is the same format, just with the sporadic, ADD-like attention span of two 20-something year old Aussie lads. And we hope that you enjoy our stupidity, bravery, humour, sadness, and whatever else we choose or are requested to go through during the rest of the year. Thanks for reading, I will stop back whenever you post 🙂
        ~ Matt

  2. Pingback: Salad Box Update | Gardening for Chumps

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