Building a grow box from a refrigerator is a way to reuse an old and broken or outdated fridge without disposing of it. Creating a grow box will enable you to produce fresh vegetables for your family throughout the year while limiting the amount of waste that goes into the landfill. Converting an old refrigerator into a functioning grow box requires only a few simple tools, and the grow box itself can be used for years.
Work in a well-ventilated area so that fumes and particles from the refrigerator can be dispersed into the air without causing illness.
Drain the freon from the refrigerator to make it safe for growing plants. Follow manufacturer safety instructions on removing freon from the fridge. Allow the freon to dissipate entirely from the refrigerator before continuing.
Remove the coils, air compressor and other unnecessary items from inside the refrigerator to maximize the amount of growing space that is available to you. Leave the shelves in place, however, as they will be used for holding planters.
Drill a hole near the top of the back portion of the refrigerator; make sure the hole is wide enough to allow a power cord to pass through it. This will be the site of the grow light, which will provide light and heat for plants to grow.
Wear all necessary safety gear, such as goggles, when working with a drill.
Drill a second hole in the back of the fridge for the exhaust fan. This will help create ventilation in the fridge. The hole should be large enough for the fan to sit snugly inside it. Drill a third small hole, about 1 inch in diameter, for further ventilation.
Clean the interior of the refrigerator with a garden disinfectant or mild dish soap to remove all particles from drilling the holes and any leftover food. Wipe down the inside of the fridge with a damp cleaning cloth to remove the soap.
Place the grow light on the top shelf of the refrigerator and ensure that it will shine on all of the shelves. If necessary, install a second grow light on the other side of the top shelf. Place the ventilation fan in its hole in the back of the fridge.
Add planters and plants to the shelves of the refrigerator. Keep the doors closed except for watering plants and harvesting.