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Growing vegetables outdoors in cardboard boxes


im thinking on growing vegs in a cardboard box. That’s the typical box from fruit deliveries. Is there any measure I should take?

i have two concerns:
1 - is there any chemical product in the cardboard that could be harmful?
2 - water, rain etc... might destroy the cardboard. Is there anything I can do to protect it? I was thinking on wrapping it in plastic, but there might be better ideas



  • If it's not strong enough to keep its integrity as a planter if it gets wet, then it's not suitable for this use. Wasting more resources to make it last a few weeks longer seems pointless to me. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,138
    Get some wooden veg boxes instead or find some wooden pallets and make some.

    Cardboard disintegrates when wet so is very good for covering bare soil and keeping light off weed seeds but you'd need far too much plastic to make it anything like sturdy enough as a container.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,951
    If you like the shape, plastic storage totes with holes drilled in the side are great.. I've even made my own version of 'EarthBox'es using them with great success.  
    Utah, USA.
  • I have tried this... a pepper plant that is almost dead, some new pepper plants and spring onions. Let’s see!
  • I think the dead pepper was trying to give you a message. But it's up to you to listen. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • 😂😂😂 I understood the message but didn’t know what it wanted. It’s having some leaves back now though

    i just repotted it in the cardboard, it has not been there until today 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,847
    What sort of growing medium have you got in there? It looks a bit claggy ... keep an eye that the surface doesn’t set hard in this hot weather. 

    Not clear about the spring onions ... they look as if they’ve been harvested and planted again ... are you hoping to grow them on to make large cooking onions?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I took the picture just after watering it. Yes, those are harvested spring onions. I’m just testing first that the experiment works, and then, if those survive, I will move on to seeds
  • AstroAstro Posts: 407
    I admire that you are trying to be resourceful with using the boxes but as pointed out it really isn't the most suitable material. If there is a heavy rain you might come out to a pile of slop. If you are using plastic to stop it breaking down you may be better just using a plastic bag as the planter. 

  • islandanchoressislandanchoress Posts: 238
    edited August 2020
    I did this this year to extend my growing area to the back patch facing north over the Atlantic, so I could move them if the weather got too wild. No more ordinary containers and I  like to reuse and get several cardbpard boxes each week. Each went inside a large black bin bag which I tucked into the box and holes at the base. I use seaweed so that went in then compost. And peas. It worked very very well.  Then the summer gales came and I carried the three to the front for a  while. I use cardboard also as a mulch on ground to be cultivated. It rots down.  I used deeper boxes than the tray type you are using there. And yes, I will do this again next year. Definitely. You can reinforce them with parcel tape at the base. We get heavy rain here but they held well, and the box gave them more shape stability than a bag.
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