How to Build a Grow Box


Grow boxes are a good way for you to grow your own vegetables if you have limited space. They can be placed on small tables on a balcony, patio or deck. A few well tended plants can produce similar quantities of vegetables as a small garden patch. Grow boxes make care and harvesting plants simple.

Step 1

Drill a hole through one long side of the plastic storage box approximately half way up the side. Cut foam insulation into sections. The first two sections are 4-by-23 ½ inches. The next three sections need to be cut to 4-by-15 ½ inches. Line up the first two sections, and cut out three, equally placed, ¾ inch wide, 2- inch deep holes. Insert these lengthwise into the storage box. Insert the other three sections into the holes, and mark where the cutouts meet. Cut out the marked sections. Insert the three small sections into the two large ones forming a grid.

Step 2

Cut the corners out of a sheet of foam insulation measuring 2-by-2 inches. In one long side trace the end of the vinyl tubing, and cut out a hole that the tube will fit into. Make ¼ inch holes in the remainder of the foam insulation. Add potting soil to the four corners of the grid, and tamp it down. Place the single sheet of foam insulation over the grid. Cut the vinyl tube so that one end is angled. Insert the angled end through the single sheet where the hole has already been cut until the tube makes contact with the bottom of the container.

Step 3

Add potting soil to the container, leaving one inch of space from the rim of the container. Insert seedlings or seeds that you have chosen to grow in that container. Add water through the vinyl tubing until it drains from the side hole.

Step 4

To make a cold frame top to grow seeds in the grow box, cut out the center of the container lid. Cut 3 millimeter plastic to fit to the inside of the lid. Secure plastic with packing tape; cut a small hole in the plastic for the vinyl tube.

Things You'll Need

  • One 18-gallon plastic storage box (23 ¾" x15 ¾" x16")
  • 1 package expanded polystyrene foam insulation ¾"x13 5/8"x48"
  • One 24-inch length of 1-inch diameter vinyl tubing
  • Potting soil
  • Power drill
  • ¼ inch drill bit
  • Box cutter
  • 3 millimeter plastic
  • Packing tape


  • Homemade Self-Contained Gardening System
  • Inside Urban Green: Simple Sub-irrigation Grow Box
Keywords: grow box, build your grow box, container gardening

About this Author

Currently residing in Myrtle Beach, SC, Tammy Curry began writing agricultural and frugal living articles in 2004. Her articles have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Farm Chronicle and Country Family Magazine. Ms. Curry has also written SEO articles for She holds an associate's degree in science from Jefferson College of Health Sciences.