How To Build A Portable Salad Box

Be the envy of everybody at the potluck with this growing salad-to-go.

May 19, 2017
mobile salad box
Christa Neu

This easy-to-build, inexpensive, and portable salad box was adapted from a design by University of Maryland Cooperative Extension specialist Jon Traunfeld to make growing fresh greens accessible to everyone. Growing salad in a box allows you to move your greens into the sun in early spring, into the shade during the heat of summer, and up onto a table and out of the reach of rabbits! Best of all, the salad that comes from this box is easy to harvest and enjoy.

(On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today.)

What you'll need

Hand saw
One 8-foot long 1'x4' pine or cedar board
Eight 1⅝" galvanized screws
Scissors or wire snips
Window screen
¼" hardware cloth, or metal lath
Staple gun and ½" staples
U-shaped nails
Handles (optional)
Four ¾" galvanized screws (for handles)
Soilless potting mix
Granulated organic fertilizer
Seeds or seedlings

Related: A Simple Step-By-Step Guide For Starting Your Own Seeds

building a salad box
Christa Neu
Creating The Box

Using a hand saw, cut the board into two 18-inch pieces and two 30-inch pieces, which will form the box's frame.

Build the first half of the box by screwing one short piece of wood to one long piece to form an L shape. Repeat with the remaining wood pieces.

Create the box frame by screwing the two L-shaped halves together. Use two 1⅝-inch screws at each joint.

Related: Fast Project: Build A Leopold Lawn Bench

attaching a screen to a salad box
Christa Neu
Attach The Screen

Cut the window screen and a piece of hardware cloth or lath to fit the box's bottom. Use staples to attach the screen, and U-shaped nails to tack the hardware cloth to the bottom of the box, making sure that the screen is the inside layer. Attach the handles, if using.

salad box
Christa Neu
Fill And Plant

Fill the box with potting mix to within 1 inch of the top. Mix in organic fertilizer per the label's instructions. Pre-moisten the mix and adjust the soil level if necessary. Plant seeds or starts of lettuce, greens, or herbs. Build two or three boxes so you can plant successive crops of salad.

Related: The Most Delicious Lettuce Varieties Worth Planting