|The Waterboxx Cross Section View: Water (including dew) is collected on the tan lid, funneled down the siphon shown in red, into the green reservoir, and released by the white wick|
We had good success growing vegetables of the cucurbit family (pumpkin, zucchini, squash) last year with the Waterboxx without any watering after planting. We decided we wanted to repeat our success this next year but with more compact and vertical growing platform, a three tiered raised garden bed, or something we call a Waterboxx Planting (Half) Pyramid. This idea was sparked by stories of one of the ancient wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon - a terraced garden that allowed lush foliage in the desert.
|An artist's depiction of the hanging gardens of Babylon (Maarten van Heemskerck, public domain)|
We planned to build a box with 9 spots for Waterboxx grown plants, or a total of 9-27 Waterboxx plants (depending on what is grown). The Waterboxx is 16 inches wide at the base and 19 inches wide at the top, so each space needed to accommodate this size.
We purchased 6 quantity 2 inch wide by 10 foot long pieces of cedar wood. These pieces can be 6, 8, 10, or 12 inches in height. We also purchased a large box of coated 3 inch deck screws.
|Our starting materials - 6 quantity 2x12 inch x 10 foot cedar boards. You will also need gloves, a measuring tape, a right angle/triangle, a marking pencil, as well as a circular saw (not shown).|
First, we used two of the 2 x 12 inch x 10 foot pieces of cedar to make the back base. It should be noted, that if you just want to create a simple patio raised bed that will fit up to 5 Waterboxxes, this design will suffice. We measured 103.25 inches from the end of both of these pieces. We then measured (to confirm) 16.75 inches from the other end - we made sure these two measurements agreed. We used a straight edge to mark this line, and cut both pieces to 103.25 inches. We then put the 16.75 inch pieces in between the two 103.25 inch pieces, and secured them with three coated deck screws from each end side, for a total of 12 screws. More screws can be used if desired. We were careful to make sure the box was on a flat surface and as close to level and perpendicular as possible.
|The bottom-back section of the raised bed garden box. This section can be used alone for up to 5 Waterboxxes and potentially for 10-15 garden plants, all without any watering.|
Next we needed to measure pieces for the middle base section. (Note: there is also a PDF file with an overall blueprint on the main Dew Harvest website here). Take a third cedar board and measure off a length of 62.25 inches. Cut once after measuring 3 times (cedar is expensive) and put the remainder off to the side for later.
With another full length board, measure off 20 inches 6 times (so six equal boards of 20 inches). Measure three times, cut once.
Place the 62.25 inch board in front and two 20 inch boards behind and connect with deck screws. The easiest way to do this is to make a "bench" that is 62.25 inches long with two "legs" that are 20 inches tall (inside length). Make sure the inside corners of this are square (at 90 degree angles) before fastening.
Measure 20.375 (20 and 3/8) inches in from the ends of the long (103.25 inch) back piece and mark this. Place one 20 inch piece of wood perpendicular to the 103.25 inch piece (front of the original 9 foot box), just inside the 20 inch mark from the edge. The other 20 inch piece (the other "leg" of the bench, now turned on its side), should be lined up just inside the other 20.375 inch marking. Working from the side of your largest rectangle, drill 5 holes into the 20 inch "legs", through the 103.25 inch pieces. This forms the middle section of the base of your half pyramid.
here) for a "seat" and attach two 20 inch "legs" to it, making a bench as described above. Next, attach the bottoms of the two "legs" to the 62.25 inch board in the same fashion as done before. The first or bottom level is now complete.
|The first level of the pyramid|
|The first 2 levels of the (half) pyramid|
|The completed (but not yet filled or situated) Waterboxx PlantCocoon (half) Planting Pyramid|
|An ideal flat surface for the planting pyramid|
You are now ready to connect the levels of the pyramid. To make the pyramid as aesthetically pleasing as possible, we will use connections inside the pyramid which will be hidden by soil. Find your two left over 4 inch scraps from cutting boards 3 and 4.
|Hold the connecting boards scraps in place using cement blocks.|
You can also hold the connectors in place with wood scraps as shown here.
|Here you see how the "scraps" will connect the different levels of the pyramid|
With your Waterboxx Planting Pyramid in place you can now fill it with soil. As potting soil and the other additives can be expensive, you can perhaps use some simple excavated garden soil for all but the top six inches of every level (i.e. -only the top eight inches of soil need to be of highest quality - just like topsoil in nature). If you live in a wetter climate and are concerned about drainage, you can use large stones and then small pebbles on the bottom of the pyramid, with only the top 8-10 inches being high quality soil. First, decide what soil mixture you would prefer for the top level of soil.
|Our rocks at the base of the pyramid|
You will want to have the Waterboxx assembled when planting to make sure everything fits. Once your plant reaches about 10 inches in height (or immediately after transplanting if the plant is already 10 inches tall), place the Waterboxx gently around the plant and add about 4 gallons of water to the Waterboxx. Do this with each planting space.
If you would like to see the chart detailing the lengths of each wood cut, or the overall design blueprints, please visit our website page devoted to the planting pyramid here.
|A fully stocked planting pyramid - with zucchini, tomatoes, squash, and other plants - all without any water needed.|
Please leave any comments or questions below.