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How to Make Your Own Grow Box

By Theresa L Johnston

Most people need more vegetables in our diet, but with food prices rising all the time, that can get expensive. Many people supplement their groceries with home-grown produce. If you don’t have a large backyard to plant a garden in, don’t count yourself out. You can grow a variety of vegetables using grow boxes that you make yourself, using easily found inexpensive parts. As long as you have space to put at least one storage tub, you have room for a garden.

Set the pond basket next to one of the storage tubs and mark the height with a pencil or marker. Do this all around the tub.

Cut off the top of the tub along the line you drew, using the hacksaw or jigsaw. You will use the bottom part only of this tub.

Turn the tub bottom upside down, and put the pond basket upside down in the center of it. Draw around the basket, and then cut out the circle about ½ inch INSIDE the line. Using the 1 ½-inch bit, drill a hole in one corner of the tub bottom. With the ¼-inch bit, drill several small holes all over the bottom of the tub.

Cut the center out of one of the lids so that there is only about a 2- or 3-inch frame left. With the 1 ½-inch bit, cut a circular notch out of one corner of the new opening.

Fill the pond basket with potting soil. Set it down in the center of the other (uncut) tub.

Set the cut tub bottom down into the other tub, with the large hole centered over the pond basket. Push it down as far as it will go. Stick the tube (or hose) through the hole in the corner. This is where you will pour the water for your garden.

Fill the tub with soil, leaving about half an inch from the top. Cover this with the piece of dark tarp, with a hole in it for the tube. Cut X-es at regular intervals in the tarp, to correspond with where you want your plants to poke through. You’ll need to check spacing charts for the crop you are planting. You now have a mini-garden. Make as many of these as you need or have room to put in a sunny location.


Things You Will Need

  • Two 18-gallon dark-colored storage tubs with lids
  • One 5-inch tall pond basket
  • One 24-inch long black flexible tubing (or large diameter water hose labeled as safe for drinking water)
  • Drill with a ¼-inch and a 1 ½ -inch drill bit
  • Saw (hacksaw or jigsaw)
  • Pen
  • Knife
  • Soil of your preference
  • Dark plastic tarp


  • Whatever type of soil you use, remember you will need to add compost or other fertilizer periodically to make sure your plants have plenty of nutrients.

About the Author


Theresa L Johnston is a Southern writer with expertise in alternative medicine, gardening and behavioral and women's health issues. She has been published at http://www.ehow.com, in "The Mostly ARTzine," and has edited several newsletters. She has written procedures manuals, call scripts, and youth group curriculum for her various employers over the last 10 years.