Our yard isn’t ideal for growing. In the morning, the house casts a shadow. On a sunny day, the awning that keeps our sun porch from boiling casts a shadow. The tree casts a shadow in the afternoon. The grill stands in the way of conveniently working on one strip. So if I wanted the kids to enjoy gardening, I needed something accessible and sunny.
Enter the planter box. After plenty of reading and research, I found AlboPepper’s sub-irrigated planter, 30 minutes of clear instructions and a system that was self-contained. (Most others stood on soil, which I didn’t want, given that our lawn is so small the kids can barely play ball on it.)
I planned to modify his plan to include caster wheels to make the box movable on our patio, and the size of my box would be that of the standard European shipping pallet, 80 by 120 cm (32 by 48 inches). Getting the shipping pallet with frame was the easiest part: I got it used for 6 francs. And then it sat in our sun porch for a long time…
Finally, I sat down and did math, calculating the total length of my 10 cm corrugated drainage pipe and the total volume of soil I’d need, as well as the dimensions of the pond liner that would keep the wood from getting wet. I purchased those supplies along with the wheels (picked to support the weight I’d calculated), struts, and screws. It was hard to translate the soil components into German, so I’m still not sure my planter box wicks the moisture up as intended, but 2019 has been rainy, which means the jury’s still out.
And then, I got busy building.
The pallet has holes, so I repurposed cupboard backing I no longer needed (the cupboard had also seen a makeover) to spread the load and keep the pond liner from stretching.
All of 2016 is up in the usual place. Well, to be precise, it’s Christmas 2015 to Christmas 2016. Because there are a large amount of photos, displaying them can sometimes be delayed. As usual, e-mail me if you don’t have the sign-in info and want to see the pictures.
Not me, myself, but our lab has a 1000 kN tensile testing machine. That is the metric equivalent of the 220 kip tensile testing machine shown in this Slow Mo Guys video of a tensile test on a roughly 600 MPa rebar. What did I learn from their video? First, what we do is cool, and second, there is a unit out there called kip, and it’s not for measuring hotel capacity.
Welcome, King Ron of the Triceratops! The kindle version will go on a $0.00 special tomorrow, November 6th, for five days: be sure to pick it up!
The illustrations are by Milagros García of Venezuela, which encapsules the way globalization makes such ventures possible. It was great working with her (through fiverr) and the story’s improved because of her contributions that went beyond mere illustrating.
The paperback is currently not available for ordering because the folks at CreateSpace thought I might have been trying to publish copyrighted material. Even though they’ve since written they’d remove the suppression within the next 24 hours, it’s been over that much and the paperback is still suppressed.
Oh well. I’m sure it’ll show up – I’d just hoped to get it to print sooner because it’s somewhat election-themed.