Materials Needed and Step-by-Step Instructions
Salad tables are elevated garden beds that can grow short-rooted crops. These are ideal for people who may have difficulty reaching down toward a garden bed or who use a wheelchair. They are also great for putting on patios!
A huge thank you to Tom Murphy for providing the pictures and instructions.
Materials and Tools
Materials needed to make one elevated planting box, specifically for greens and plants that do not require deep roots, since the box is only 5 1/2″ deep.
The design can be modified and made smaller if needed to fit a specific space. This specific design is intended for use on an outdoor surface, where it can drain onto grass or soil. It could get messy dripping onto a wood deck, as there are holes drilled in the soil tray for drainage.
- Power drill to install screws – with driver bit
- Drill/ countersink set for #8 screws (this helps install screws without damaging wood)
- 1/2″ drill bit to make drainage holes in plywood bottom
If you plan to cut your own lumber, you will need:
- “Skill saw” with guide or table saw- to cut lumber to length and width.
- Some lumber yards may cut custom sizes for a fee. This is a good option to ensure you are staying safe.
Wood cuts needed:
About 78″ X 42″
- 4 wooden posts – 4″ X 4″ X 33″ (so you can bury legs 2-3″ in ground if desired- otherwise they can be 30″ long
- 2 wooden sides – 3/4″ X 7 1/2″ X 78″
- 2 wooden sides – 3/4″ X 7 1/2″ X 42″ These can each be cut from a 10 foot long 1″ X 8″. If a deeper soil tray is needed, a 1″ X 10″ could be substituted for the sides
- 4′ X 8′ X 1/2 exterior plywood – cut down to 40 3/8″ X 77 7/8″
- 4 wooden added supports at 3/4″ X 3 1/2 X 42″ pine, additional support pieces under table bottom
- 2 support pieces at 1 1/4″ X 71″ , 2 support pieces at 1/4 ” X 33 5/8″, Support pieces running along bottom edge of table sides to hold up plywood tray.
- 2 pieces at 2 1/16″ X 38 3/4″, added supports to make “L” under cross pieces (see detail photo)
- Wood screws-# 8 X 1 1/2″ (GRK screws are recommended- 100 per box)
Attach long sides to legs with #8 X 1 1/2″ screws – at least 4 in each corner.
Stand two long sides up and attach short sides to make an upside down box (best to do this on a flat surface if possible).
Attach all the support pieces with #8 X 1 1/2″ wood screws.
This is a detail photo of the different support pieces-1) One set that go across the long sides of the table- to hold up the bottom of the soil trayThere should be four of these evenly spaced across the underside of the soil tray2) It also shows the support pieces along the inside surface of the sides of the box- that will hold up the plywood soil tray
Showing the support pieces that hold up the plywood bottom.
The plywood bottom piece can be cut with the corner “notches” to allow the posts to fit – holes should also be drilled for drainage in the bottom plywood panel- You can use 1/2 holes spaced approximately 8-10″ apart on the plywood bottom. (Holes not pictured in this photo).
Option to paint the table! Next, fill with soil and plant seeds and or/seedlings for greens such as lettuce, kale, and spinach.