In DIY Projects

My kids were commenting the other day that our backyard doesn’t look very nice.  I looked around and had to agree, so I started upgrading a few items.  The first to get an upgrade was the mobile potato box.  We made the potato box when we read articles like this that explain how it only takes a small footprint to multiply your potato crop.

potato box 6-27-10

The potatoes were happy enough in the box, but the structure was built on top of a rolling cart (we found for free) and was never attached.  It was also rather top heavy with the weight so far off the ground.  One year the whole potato box was accidentally dumped on the ground when the wheels of the cart caught and the box went sailing.  We needed an upgrade.

Inspired by the kids, here’s the new one finished and built strong and with a nicer look than the original.

 Here’s the build step-by-step: (click pictures to enlarge them)


 First Step

 1. 2×4 board cut to length (2 at 26.5 inches long and 2 at 27.5 inches long)

 2. 2×6 board cut to form a strong base box layer around the 2×4 bottom square

 3. Plywood gussets to help hold the 2×4’s together AND also the base mounting to screw the wheels into







 Second Step

 1. BEFORE you add in the hardware cloth, add in your 4 corner posts that will hold your sides as you build the soil up.





Third Step

1. Staple in the hardware cloth.  A pneumatic stapler really gets the job done here with minimal effort.




PotatoBox5Fourth Step

1. Cover the hardware cloth with a netting that will hold soil in, but will still allow water to drain.  I used left over plastic screen from a screen door repair kit.  Hand stapling worked fine to hold that in.






Fifth Step

1. Screw your wheels into the gussets on the underside.  Be sure to put them wide enough to give good stability.  You will be pushing this as it gets heavier so a wide stance is best.  Two of the wheels should be 360 degree turn-able – the other two can be fixed.

Final Step

1. To make the box more attractive, I covered the exterior wood with cedar fence stripping.  It definitely improved the look!  Additional levels (added as the pototoes grow) would be made from the cedar fence strips as well.  Store them and you can reuse the sides year after year.

Also, I gave the bottom a few coats of paint to help ward off wood rot. 

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