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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Placing Box on Cement Toplef10Placing Box on Cement 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Placing Box on Cement

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Momma Pajama
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Placing Box on Cement Empty Placing Box on Cement

Post  Teresa 4/8/2010, 6:26 pm

I'm new to SFG and I really appreciate all the information shared by you who are more experienced. I have a couple of questions for you:

1. I have to place my box on cement. Do I really need to attach the plywood to the frame, or could I just place the plywood on the cement with the frame placed on top of that?

2. Is drainage hampered when the box is on cement? I wonder if the weight of the soil against the plywood and cement allows enough space for drainage.

Thanks so much for your help.

Teresa in CA
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Post  boffer 4/8/2010, 6:36 pm

Hi and Welcome glad you\'re here

You're not the first to put your box on concrete; plywood is not necessary. For piece of mind, you could put shims (a pebble, or whatever) under the corners of the box to insure adequate drainage. Generally though, concrete is rough enough that it won't seal with the box bottom.
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Post  Teresa 4/8/2010, 6:41 pm

I have the plywood and assume it will be easier to clean up should I ever decide to move the box. Still no problem just placing on the cement with the box on top?
Any cons to not attaching the plywood, or is that only necessary when doing a raised box?

Thank you.
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Post  boffer 4/8/2010, 7:07 pm

If it were me, I would use the plywood and put the box on wheels. If you decide to use plywood, put a 1/4 inch drain hole in each square, and one near each corner for good measure.
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Post  Teresa 4/8/2010, 7:09 pm

Wheels--good idea! Thanks for the quick responses.
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Post  martha 4/8/2010, 7:13 pm

and I agree with Boffer about the plywood - well, of course, if you are going to put wheels on it, then you are already convinced, silly me, but also, as you said, in the event you need to move it.
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Post  chocolatepop 4/8/2010, 7:22 pm

Yup. solid bottom, screwed on and heavy duty castors! That is what I did!
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Post  Momma Pajama 4/8/2010, 7:30 pm

Sounds great! I have been thinking of making a 3 x 3' box like that to teach with (I am a preschool teacher). I thought I could just pull it down the hall with a rope! Maybe I can paint on the outside of the box, "Veggies to Go!"
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Post  Teresa 4/8/2010, 7:37 pm

I did not build the box myself but a friend gave it to me; she had one too many. It's new and has the weed barrier fabric attached. The plywood she gave me is only 1/4" thick. Should I get rid of the weed barrier, or will it matter? Do I need to get 3/4" plywood if I'm going to attach plywood to the bottom, or will the 1/4 do?

I don't know much about working with wood. I assume I will screw the plywood on. Can you tell me what size screws and how far apart I should place them?

Is it difficult to attach casters?
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Placing Box on Cement Empty Box on Wheels

Post  mckr3441 4/8/2010, 7:37 pm

Building it


Placing Box on Cement The_bo11


Placing Box on Cement Img_1512


Filling it

Placing Box on Cement Img_1612


Planting it

Placing Box on Cement Img_1613


Watching it grow

Placing Box on Cement Img_1710

And grow

Placing Box on Cement Img_1815


And BLOOM

Placing Box on Cement Img_1816

CONCLUSION: Yep! It works! SOLD
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Post  boffer 4/8/2010, 7:38 pm

Momma Pajama wrote:I thought I could just pull it down the hall with a rope! Maybe I can paint on the outside of the box, "Veggies to Go!"

That works! Since "Meals on Wheels" is taken!
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Post  boffer 4/8/2010, 7:41 pm

Practically everything in my shop is on wheels. I have dozens of casters saved 'just in case'.

But it was Claire who gave me the idea last year about mobile SFGS okay
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Post  Teresa 4/8/2010, 7:42 pm

It is so helpful to see the photos, Claire. Beautiful! Thank you.

Question: since the box was on casters, why did you set it on top of
some planks? Aesthetics?
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Post  boffer 4/8/2010, 7:48 pm

I wouldn't use less than 3/4 inch ply. Since you have a piece of 1/4, you could buy 1/2 to save money, and use both to get 3/4. #8 screws, 1 1/2 inches long, every 6-8 inches.
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Post  Momma Pajama 4/9/2010, 12:36 am

[quote="mckr3441"]Building it


I LOVE it! Gotta do it!
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Post  Prestermatt 4/9/2010, 10:47 am

I've been thinking about putting wheels on the boxes I'm building for my patio. How heavy duty do the casters need to be to support a 4x4x6" box?
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Post  boffer 4/9/2010, 10:56 am

Hi,

Recently, in another thread, we figured out a 4x4 box with saturated soil was in the 3-400 pound range. A common rating for a smaller caster is 75LB, so four of them.

Practically speaking, it depends what you'll mainly be rolling on. The rougher the surface, the bigger the diameter you would want to use, for ease of rolling.
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Post  mckr3441 4/9/2010, 11:01 am

Prestermatt wrote:How heavy duty do the casters need to be to support a 4x4x6" box?

I'd say the bigger the better and I wonder if you would need a swivel in the center???. I put two regular wheels and two swivel ones on mine. Next time I'll use all four swivel. Bigger wheels make anything easier to move. Also, I like the wheels to show. It brings more attention. However...

Teresa wrote:Question: since the box was on casters, why did you set it on top of
some planks? Aesthetics?

...my DH wanted to "hide" the wheels so he laid a couple of old 2x4s along the sides. Boo Hiss.

Thanks everyone for the compliments. Placing Box on Cement Icon_biggrin
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Post  sanderson 1/29/2023, 2:59 am

This is an old thread from the Forum's first year. If any of you have set a bed on a concrete slab, an asphalt driveway, or a flat roof, could you share your photos? I know of three SFG gardeners who have done this but I failed to save their photos.

Thank you, Sanderson

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Post  OhioGardener 1/29/2023, 2:57 pm

I don't have any sitting on concrete, but the 2'x6' one I have in the greenhouse is sitting on 8" of crushed limestone which packs down almost like cement, but it does drain well.
Placing Box on Cement Raised13

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