Very Large Container On Deck? (Set up help)

MiniGerdener876March 27, 2013


First, excuse my name....that was supposed to be gardener....anyway I'm trying to think of the best way to set up my garden.

My garden will be a mix of one big raised bed planter and pots. These will both be in my deck so the planter is like an extremely large container. It will be 5.5' by 4.5' and 11" deep. Soil level might be a little less though. My problem is the set up of the planter. My first thought was to have a weed barrier on the deck and make slits where the boards aren't touching to let it drain there. Would this work and not rot the deck? I can waterproof seal the deck.

My second thought was to raise it a few inches off the deck and put fiberglass screen on the bottom to facilitate draining and as a bottom to hold in the soil. Would this work?

And the soil mix I'm thinking of using is 60% topsoil (the topsoil is full of bark though and very light. It's not really topsoil), 30% mushroom compost, and 10% peat. I'm growing tomatoes (Burpee Patio Princess), carrots, a lettuce mix, carrots, and garlic (as a companion to the tomatoes and I want to).

Thanks in advance!

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

As an journeyman carpenter I will guarantee you that if your deck isn't made from preserved wood, and this is still no guarantee, your deck will rot. Not a matter of if but when. Waterproofing will help tremendously but just one tiny missed spot will give the water access. If your somewhat handy I can help you design it to prevent this from happening.

I highly suggest you read the link on container soils at the end of this post and following one of the recipes.

Here is a link that might be useful: container soils

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Definitely raise the pot a little from your deck to allow drainage water to escape from the bottom and dry out. Have you considered placing your pots on a trolley, (something with wheels on it so you can turn the pots around to give the plants an even exposure to the sun?)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:43PM
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I've lurked for awhile and I like it. The only problem with the recipe is that I can't find the turface or granite. I searched Lowe's, Home Depot, and TSC with no success. I also read that the vegetables I'm growing like constant moist soil. Does that not apply here?I'm also growing strawberries, mini roses, and mint in the pots.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:46PM
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I hadn't thought about the wheels on the pots before. I should be able to lift them though. They're normal sized pots, about 10 inches deep. If they're too heavy I will do that. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:57PM
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sutremaine(UK S.Wales 9)

How about a giant drip tray with off-deck drainage?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:17PM
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I wouldn't suggest the gritty mix (the one that uses turface/granite) on your deck due to the weight. I would try the 5-1-1. You might have to search for the pine bark, but almost everyone finds it at some store in their area (my Menard's and a local garden center both have it; I also found it in bulk at a landscape supply place but chose to go with bags instead). The 5-1-1 is very lightweight.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:57PM
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We're actually going to have to move it do to the weight. It would be around half a ton which is too much for the deck.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:51PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

That is great mini...any time you add that much moisture to wood problems arise. Being constantly wet will rot just about anything.

Look forward to seeing pictures of the garden in the new location,

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:17AM
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