How To Be Classy Like Me: DIY Potato Box

Alternate Title: How To Build A Box To Grow Potatoes In, Even Though You Can Buy A Bag of Potatoes  For Really Cheap, So You Might As Well Use These Directions To Build A Compost Bin.

Let’s face it friends, I’m classy. It’s been quite a while though since I’ve put out into the internets a tutorial on how to be classy like me, so lets delve right in.

The first thing you need to know is that anyone who’s anyone calls this online world of ours The Internets. “But wait Heather,” you say, “my grandparents still call it The Internets”. You’re damn right they do. They’re classy. Take a lesson or two.

Secondly, I am fantastic at building, which is what today’s lesson is on. In fact, building things is potentially one of my biggest strengths. You’ll see just how good I am at building by the end of this. I promise you will be impressed. It was part of my classy-lady training in my wee years. So, let me impart on you this wisdom so you too can build a box to grow potatoes in, or a compost box if you want to get fancy you saucy minx.

Step One

Decide how large you would like your potato box to be. Generally they are between 2 and 4 square feet. I decided to make mine approximately 3 square feet. Why? Because that’s the classy amount, and because 3 feet happened to be the size of the majority of lumber we had. I mean, bought. We absolutely did not build this entire thing out of scrap lumber. I would never do that. It’s just not…classy. To that tune, let’s move onto step two.

Step Two

Acquire the finest, and most currently in style, lumber known to man. Money is no object. Except that it’s literally an object, but that is neither here nor there at this moment. Don’t get caught up in the semantics. To acquire the lumber for my potato box, I visited a local high-end barn which specialized in reclaimed beat up pine. They even store it outside under a piece of corrugated roofing and plywood, how classy.

PotatoBox (34)Some of the lumber is already painted with nail holes in it. Some of it’s ripped apart and missing entire sections. It’s the newest thing in lumber. Don’t question the fact it’s what some might consider “low-grade” lumber. If you listen to me you’ll realize you are ahead of the trend and then when you’re friends catch on, you’ll be all, “I’ve been doing that for years already”. Even hipsters don’t know yet that this is so uncool it’s cool.

PotatoBox (2)Step Three

Take your awesome saw and cut through each piece so they are all the same length. Once you figure out your height you would like, cut it down by two feet. Why? Because you realized you really only have enough lumber to make it about a foot shorter. That’s fine, you really only wanted it this height anyway.

PotatoBox (3)Step Four

To assemble you’ll need a screw driver, a bucket of the finest screws, and a square. Make sure your bucket of screws is only of the highest quality.  One must always have a golden screw. Ignore your significant other who is humoring you by staying out of the way and letting you do this all by yourself, while looking on with an amused and yet skeptical eye. Do I want a level? No I do not want a level. I do not need a level. Leveling is for those who are not confident in their exceptional building skills.

PotatoBox (4) PotatoBox (5)Step Five

Square your boards up on each edge and screw as you go. We do not level, but we do square up. We are making a box, not a rhombus. Be classy and know your shapes.

PotatoBox (6) PotatoBox (7) PotatoBox (8)Step Six

Take the boards you found that were slightly shorter than you hoped for and attach them to your non-rhombus frame you just built to act as the posts. Make sure the posts are more or less flush with the bottom of the frame. Again, you do not need a level, just feel it out. You need these posts so you can add further boards as your potatoes grow and you add more soil. Do not under any circumstance accidentally trip over your frame and almost take a face first digger. You are classy. You do not take diggers.

PotatoBox (11) PotatoBox (12)

Step Seven

Build up a few more courses of boards on the sides by screwing directly into the posts. Do not take into account the weight of this structure and how far you will have to move it before you do this. Classy people realize this issue but then convince themselves they will be totally fine and able to muscle it into place.

PotatoBox (19)If you have a tractor with forks that can move the finished structure you may be okay. However, be prepared to have a significant other on the tractor laugh at you and remind you that you wanted to do this all yourself. Telling them to get off the tractor so you can move it then results in them laughing and continuing to move logs. This leaves you to your own devices since you made it clear earlier on this was your project and your project alone. Classy people also then come to their senses and realize they really do need to move the box into place before they build it any further, lest they want to have multiple visits to the chiropractor. As you may have deduced already, classy people do not go to the chiropractor. They are perfect and never need a doctor of any kind. Most definitely not a team of people to keep their back in line at least once a month.

PotatoBox (17)

Step Eight

Now that you’ve decided to move your base over with only a couple coarses of boards you must keep one thing in mind: Absolutely under no circumstances are you to be caught swearing while carrying it across your yard. Classy ladies do not say things like, “Bleeping bleep bleeper”.  You get it put perfectly into place in the garden and make no mention of how you perhaps should have leveled it first. Thankfully it’s perfect because you’re perfect, and you do not have to press it into the soil more on one side and back fill it so it sits level-ish. That definitely didn’t happen.

PotatoBox (21)Step Nine

Now that you have your box in place which was perfect the second you put it down, take your gardening fork and turn over the soil. I will hear none of the fact it would have been easier to till the soil pre-putting the  box down. You know good and well it is much easier to till the soil when you have four sides of wood blocking your fork when you pull back on it. Do not contemplate moving the potato box so you can till the soil properly, classy people do not second guess their decisions no matter how poor they were. Then again, classy people never have poor decisions.

Step Ten

The final step is to continue to screw the rest of the boards into place pre-planting if you would like, but leave a couple boards off the front so it’s easier to plant. The other option is to leave as is, plant, and then add boards as your potato plants get higher and you add more soil.

PotatoBox (25)

That’s it! You have either just made the best damn potato box or the best damn compost bin in history. This is a fact. Do not Google it. Classy people don’t Google to realize a blog writer is full of shit.

Crap. Classy girls don’t say shit. Or crap.




6 thoughts on “How To Be Classy Like Me: DIY Potato Box

  1. Haha! This kind of writing is why I started following your blog. Love it. Nice box, too. But what’s even better is we have two Saab’s also – one black and one super dark blue. You get it, I know you do 😉

    1. Haha! Thanks, Tammy. I have to admit these are pretty fun to write especially because they come when the mood strikes. It just wouldn’t work the same if I ever *tried* to write one. Oh, and I totally get the SAAB thing.


    1. We have potato plants! So it looks like they won’t be compost. Then again, we have an entire growing season ahead of us. I must go knock on everything wood now. This could take a while. (Also, so glad you loved this post 🙂 )


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