A Garden in a Box

Guest Post By Dorinda Duthie
Photos By Angela Robb

If you don’t already have a veggie garden and want to start growing something with your children you might like to set up a mini vegetable garden in a box.  Here’s how.


*    A bag of organic vegetable mix

*    A tomato plant suitable for container growing eg patio, cherry tomato

*    A punnet of lettuce seedlings

This should cost about $20


A banana box (or similar – a painted polystyrene box, works well.) and place a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the box (6 sheets approx). Poke 6 holes in the bottom of the vegetable mix bag (these are for drainage).


Place the bag right side up, flat on the ground and cut away most of the top of the bag.  Read the warning label on the bag, dealing with the vegetable mix must be done in a well ventilated area.

Remove approximately one quarter to one third of the vegetable mix. Place the bag inside the box, remove more vegetable mix if needed.

Make sure your box is on the ground, in the place where you want it to stay, bags of vegetable mix are heavy!

The soil you have removed can be used in another pot, box or directly  into your garden.

Water the vegetable mix thoroughly but lightly – you are creating a moist growing environment, not a swamp.  Encourage the children to dig the soil to loosen it.


Cut the first set of leaves from the base of the plant off the tomato with a pair of scissors.

Plant the tomato with most of the stem in the soil.

Make holes for the pea seeds – up to the first joint of your middle finger is probably about right.

Cover the pea seeds with the plastic mesh. Secure the mesh with a bent over piece of wire or a twig in each corner.

Plant the bean seeds about the same depth, the radishes need to be just under the surface.

Thoroughly water the punnet of lettuce seedlings and then plant them in the soil.

Continue to water carefully and watch out for slugs, snails, birds and soccer balls.

Happy gardening!


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