san diego, Ca
|I made a 3x3 wooden box, so that I can grow herbs on my balcony. I don't know if I should line the bottom of the box with a screen or newspaper, or anything. And if so, what should I line it with. Would the wood get
|Answer from NGA
February 16, 2010
|The wood will get soggy unless you treat it with a sealer. I just brush on linseed oil to help protect the wood and when it dries just fill it with potting soil. It isn't necessary treat the wood, though, or to line the bottom of the box with newspapers or anything else. Paper will just hold more moisture against the bottom of the box which will encourage rot. You'll want excellent drainage so be sure to drill half inch holes in the bottom so the soil will drain well. You can cover the holes with a piece of paper towel or a paper coffee filter to keep the potting soil from escaping through the holes (or having the potting soil actually plug up the holes). The paper will decompose in a year or two and in the meantime you've kept the soil in and kept insects like sow bugs and earwigs from crawling into the drainage holes and making a home in the bottom of the container bed. Be sure to set your container up on bricks or stones or pieces of 2x4's so air can circulate underneath. This will help the bottom of the box stay dry and will also allow excess water to drain. Enjoy your new container garden!
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