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Gwennifer's Table Tops

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Post  sanderson Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:26 am

Gwennifer, You have the cutest table top gardens (TT) but the photos are spread among several different topics. I was wondering if you would repost, under this topic heading, some of your pictures (with dates) so newer folks can see how they were made and how good looking they can be. And how your crops grew!!!  Shocked 

Thanks, Sanderson
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Post  gwennifer Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:40 pm

Oh dear I can't believe I missed a post with my own name! Unfortunately I don't have pictures of them during construction, but I would be happy to post all the pics I have and show them in use, and answer any questions people may have. Give me some time to get the little ones fed and I'll find everything.

Thanks for thinking of me sanderson.  Smile 
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Post  gwennifer Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:36 pm

Gwennifer's Table Tops Tablet10
Newly built and planted (mostly seeds, some starts).  Cement tubs from Lowe's and 2x4 construction for the frames.  Pink one is 28" tall; turquoise 38"; purple 33".  
Gwennifer's Table Tops Tomato12
Better view of the tall tomato cages.  These worked well to keep the tomatoes in their squares and held up well even when the tomatoes reached the top, but I was only growing cherries and small salad tomatoes.
Gwennifer's Table Tops Unders10
Underside of beds.  If you look closely at the purple one, you can see the plastic is bending a bit between each support. It wouldn't hurt to use four supports instead of three.
Gwennifer's Table Tops Gwen_h11
Late July and things have really filled out.  On the pink bed I used a couple of pot trellises to keep the bush beans in their squares. I added another cement tub of Mel's Mix on the bottom of the turquoise bed but have yet to try lettuce or Kale under there, which is my goal for it.
Gwennifer's Table Tops Img_2810
Picture looking out from inside my house so you can see how I let the cucumber trail over the edge of the tall turquoise bed.
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Post  Marc Iverson Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:54 pm

gwennifer, how do you keep water from leaking out the bottom and making a muddy streaky mess underneath?
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Post  gwennifer Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:18 pm

Good question Marc.  Let me know if you figure out the answer.   Laughing 

Actually I moaned a bit when I dug out these pictures because I realized how much having the tables on there had changed our patio.  It used to be so clean!  This was it's 9th summer and had never seen anything but a broom.  However the tables cast a lot of shade, and now our patio looks just as bad as the driveway on the North side of the house.  Green and black.  Yuck.  Will definitely be trying out Wet and Forget this year.

For the record, the water that drains out is not muddy.  It is a golden brown color from running through the mix, but it's just water and dries quickly on hot summer days.  You can see from the last picture, taken late July, that after a couple of months of daily watering and lots of drainage the patio still looks the same as when the tables were first placed there.  Water draining out onto bare ground would make mud.
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Post  yolos Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:30 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:gwennifer, how do you keep water from leaking out the bottom and making a muddy streaky mess underneath?

How about something like this hooked up to a hose and run the hose off the patio.  I bet there are also some drip irrigation pieces that would do the same to use as a drain away from the planters.
Gwennifer's Table Tops Spigot11
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Post  Marc Iverson Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:22 pm

Hmm, you'd need a special drill bit for that I guess. Cool idea.
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Post  yolos Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:28 pm

Marc - I never built the table top so I have not used it.  It is in my box of "someday I want to build something to use it". 

Crud, I can't get the italics to turn off.  Oh well.  I was going to put it on my screened in porch and put a bucket underneath it to catch the run off.
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Post  sanderson Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:40 am

Gwennifer, thank's for pulling all the photos into one topic. The pink is Watermelon Smoothie, right?  Very Happy 
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Post  gwennifer Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:32 am

yolos wrote:Crud, I can't get the italics to turn off.  Oh well.  I was going to put it on my screened in porch and put a bucket underneath it to catch the run off.
 Laughing   If I had mod/admin privileges, I'd fix the italics for you.  Anyway, I have 9 drainage holes drilled in each of my tubs.  I've found they are a bit high centered though (from having that center support but no supports on their very ends), and so mostly drain out of the three holes on each end.  It's likely very feasible to have them drain out of a single location by drilling a single drainage hole, and making very sure when you build the platform that you tilt the bins slightly so that all drainage will run that way.  I wouldn't use a spout like that, that can be turned on and off.  What if you forgot to open it one day?  Or I've seen people talk about using double bins.  Drill the top bin like normal for drainage (at least one hole under each square) and let it drain into the bin underneath.  Then if you wanted to get real fancy, you could have a float system and your tap for draining your drain bin if you see it's too full.   Wink 

sanderson wrote:Gwennifer, thank's for pulling all the photos into one topic.  The pink is Watermelon Smoothie, right?  Very Happy 
Yep! Watermelon Smoothie by Glidden.  Purchased it at Home Depot.
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Post  yolos Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:27 am

Yea, I did a double bin last year exactly as you described it.  But I never new when the bottom bin was filed up and starting to overflow.  Kind of worked a little like a self watering container.  It was very heavy to lift off the top bin to dump the bottom bin.  That's why I bought the value but never got around to using it.
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Post  gwennifer Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:04 pm

yolos wrote: ...But I never new when the bottom bin was filed up and starting to overflow...
This is why I mentioned the float. I saw something on youtube somewhere, sometime, with a self watering setup and the float gave a visual indication of when the bottom needed to be filled.
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Post  SFGHealthCoach Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:52 pm

These are beautiful - !!!
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Post  gwennifer Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:41 pm

Thank you SFGHealthCoach. If I'm reading your name correctly, weren't you involved in the online certification classes? I submitted some of these same pics as part of the process, along with my picture for your directory.
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Post  gwennifer Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:30 am

Marc Iverson wrote:gwennifer, how do you keep water from leaking out the bottom and making a muddy streaky mess underneath?
Since you were surprised at the idea of lining pots with weed cloth in that other thread, I thought maybe I'd let you know I lined the bottom of my cement tubs with weed cloth before filling with MM. So no MM comes out when they are draining. Just water, which dries quickly so no muddy mess underneath.
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Post  Marc Iverson Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:47 am

Good to know, thanks.
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Post  Marc Iverson Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:55 pm

Gwennifer, I think I'd like to build one or a few tables the way you've done it. I've never built anything before, though, and I'm guessing that the dimensions and lengths of some of the individual pieces of wood look like they are adjusted slightly to fit the tub just right. Would you mind telling me the dimensions you've worked out? I'm figuring the tub itself is 2x3 feet, and I'll look at Ace Hardware or Home Depot to see if I can find some.

That would probably make things easier for me than my trying to reinvent the wheel.

Also, did you use any brackets or other things non-obvious from looking at the tabletops from the outside? Any recommendations of screws or really anything like that for a non-handy person like me?
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Post  walshevak Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:09 am

Marc, If pretty is not an issue, then you can set them on cinder blocks.


Gwennifer's Table Tops Dscn1311[size=12.727272033691406] [/size]

I'm construction challenged.    lol! 

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Post  Marc Iverson Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:09 pm

Not an issue for me, but it is for family. Good idea though, for sure.

We won't have fencing around the area though -- too expensive for now, at least for the kind of look that would be approved of. So I'll need to make something sturdy enough to not fall over too easy. I'm thinking of doing three gwennifer-type tables end to end, the long way, and securing the outer tables to the inner table they meet at with hose clamps around the legs. That should give some sturdiness. And putting them up on paving blocks, to keep them a little insulated from the flooding down the hillside we get every spring.

It looks a bit to me like gwennifer is using not just 2x4 but maybe some 1x4 around the rim of the tub, too. I could be wrong, but it would be nice to know anything she might have learned so I don't have to waste too much time and money experimenting. The size off the tubs is a wild card, because lots of places I look, the sizing is subtly different.

I went to Ace Hardware today and they said they only carry the smaller size tubs locally and were unwilling to special order anything bigger, even though their online store has bigger ones. But then there's shipping bringing up the price. Amazon has generally absurd prices for the tubs. So I think I'll check Home Depot, which carries ones that apparently have lots of negative reviews about their being weak and cracking right away, but I figure just sitting still with a load of Mel's Mix in them is very light duty. I just hope they don't crack when I poke drain holes in them -- sometimes brittle plastic does that kinda thing. There are not a lot of local resources to choose from in a smallish town, unfortunately. I bet an Ace Hardware in a bigger city would have been much more helpful about special ordering something.

Priced cedar out to $1.25 a foot and pressure-treated wood to 66 cents a foot. Boy is it ugly -- not just the usual stapled look but green chemical randomly on it. But maybe I could use cedar for the uppers and PT wood for the supports. Paint seems to peel under our constant rains here, and anyway it's not to the family taste.
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Post  sanderson Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:21 pm

Marc, You shouldn't have any trouble with plain, untreated wood lasting. As long as wood is kept away from wet soil or compost (up on bricks), it should last for years. I'm going to 1/4" drill drainage holes where the tub in her photo sort of sags. I think her cement tubs are regular size, approximately 18" x 26". I have a 26" one and a 27" one!
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Post  gwennifer Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:34 pm

Marc, I should be able to get measurements and do a rough sketch-up of how they went together. Give me a day or two.
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Post  Marc Iverson Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:48 pm

sanderson wrote:Marc, You shouldn't have any trouble with plain, untreated wood lasting. As long as wood is kept away from wet soil or compost (up on bricks), it should last for years. I'm going to 1/4" drill drainage holes where the tub in her photo sort of sags. I think her cement tubs are regular size, approximately 18" x 26". I have a 26" one and a 27" one!

Really? I thought they were two foot by three foot! At any rate, the size of the tubs available certainly makes all the difference. As does the size available locally; these days you can find almost everything somewhere, but that doesn't mean you want to pay the shipping. Can you believe I found some 2x3 ones on Amazon for 48 bucks??? And that wasn't even including shipping.

Re her tubs sagging, she said she thought maybe a fourth reinforcement on the bottom would have been better, so I think I'll try that. Considering how cheap it is to put in another slat of wood under the tub, and that so many reviews I've read of these tubs said they were brittle and crack easily, I figure maybe better safe than sorry.

This seems a good time to have a sottering iron to melt holes through the tubs as opposed to trying to pound them through with a nail. Wish I had one!

I'm going to go with your and gwennifer's idea on using weed cloth on the bottoms, too, to keep the soil in.
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Post  Marc Iverson Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:49 pm

gwennifer wrote:Marc, I should be able to get measurements and do a rough sketch-up of how they went together. Give me a day or two.

Thanks a lot gwennifer!
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Post  Chopper Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:51 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:
gwennifer wrote:Marc, I should be able to get measurements and do a rough sketch-up of how they went together.  Give me a day or two.

Thanks a lot gwennifer!
Yay! I was thinking about that myself. I did a rough draft but am afraid I came up with the wrong numbers. Smile
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Post  walshevak Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:18 pm

Mine came from Lowes

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