Growing as much food on as little land for as little money as possible

55 Vegetables in 4 square feet? Part2

1 Comment

Previously we cut the top off a tight head blue barrel and drilled the drain holes in the bottom of the barrel. Now we are going to mark out the 50 grow pockets that will be cut into the sides of the barrel.

I measured around the barrel and it was approximately 1750mm. I wanted to put ten pockets on each level and I wanted my pockets to be around 100mm wide so that leaves 75mm between the pockets. I marked a line all the way round the barrel 100mm down from the top and then marked alternately 100mm and 75mm along this line. If you start on one of the seams of the barrel you can check how you are doing when you get half way round at the other seam.

Marking out the grow pockets

In order to stop the grow pockets splitting and to aid the cutting it is necessary to drill a hole at the ends of each grow pocket so I went ahead and drilled a hole on every mark along the line I had just marked out.

One of the one hundred holes to be drilled in the side of the barrel

The saw I used to cut the top off the barrel was perfect for cutting the slits for the grow pockets

The little hand saw made quick work of cutting the grow pockets

I measured down 150mm and repeated the operation making sure the next lot of pockets were offset so they were not directly below the ones above, I repeated this another 3 times to make a total of 5 levels of 10 pockets.

All 50 pockets cut

Now the fun part. Forming the grow pockets. Normally people heat the plastic until it is pliable with an electric heat gun used for stripping paint but as I don’t have electricity at the allotment I decided to use a butane blowtorch. Another way I have deviated from the norm id I am going to use a beer bottle to form the pockets instead of a piece of 2×4 wood. I think the pockets formed with the 2×4 look a bit square and ugly. I wanted rounder pockets plus I thought a cold bottle would cool the plastic quicker and so speed up the process a little. I had no idea if any of this was going to work but it would be fun finding out.

I have only had time to do 5 pockets so far but it proves that the method works and the glass bottle dissipates the heat quickly enough that you only need one bottle.

Perfect pockets

In the next part we will complete the grow pockets and build the compost/wormery tube.


Author: tinyallotment

Dedicated to living a simple, independent, self reliant life where money is not the main factor. My dream is to engineer a life that requires very little from the outside world. I would like to provide my own shelter, collect my own water, grow, catch, hunt, forage my own food, create my own energy and deal with my own waste. This dream all starts in a tiny allotment in Cornwall where I will be experimenting in growing food, generating energy and dealing with waste.

One thought on “55 Vegetables in 4 square feet? Part2

  1. Pingback: 55 Vegetables in 4 square feet? Part 3 | tinyallotment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s