How to make a Grow Box

Hello everyone,

I am looking into building a grow box for my hinoki cypress to go into so that it can start its journey on becoming a raft.

The box dimensions are going to be 80cmx80cm and 40cm deep.

Any advice what kind of wood to choose? And any other kind of advice would be very much appreciated… i am not too handy with tools etc… its gonna be my first box i build.

Thank you all very much and have a great day!

I keep my grow boxes simple. Seven pieces of wood all cut the same size. I use cedar. I use chicken wire 1/4” for the bottom, staple gun to hold it down and 2”-2” squares for the feet. Wood glue and a nail gun. These last several years

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Thanks alot @Tiibee

And where do you use the glue versus a nail?

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Pine is a good alternative wood type, the most important is to use untreated wood.

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I use wood glue at all nail points. It’s just an added bit of help to keep it all together.

I have not yet tried pine.

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I’ve used pine it’s a cheaper option to cedar. Cedar 1x3 are my typical go to. Mesh bottom exactly like shown above. I use screws instead of nails in case taking apart the box is the best option when the time comes to repot.

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I think if my memory serves me correctly, that if you check the urban yamadori live stream Ryan demonstrates how he makes boxes.

Ah ill have to look it up again. I watched one urban yamadori lecture but i dont think he mentioned boxes but my memory can be shoddy at times :rofl:

I believe it was the one where he dug out the Peirres but my memory sometimes tells stories… goodluck

https://live.bonsaimirai.com/library/video/post-collection-potting. here is the video

Lime and Troy!!! Main man!!! Love the bibs and the can do attitude.

Important to have drainage holes in the corners so there are no pockets of too wet soil. Plywood is cheap and works fine, non-treated so using old pallets are not recommended unless you are sure no chemical preservatives have been used.

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So here is what ive got sofar :smiley:

The frame is untreated larch and the bottom is douglas fir. Those materials were the ones recommended to me by the guy at the store. Its not treated wood :+1:Took me 3 hours, two broken drill bits and used up all the juice in my drill before it was finished :rofl: but i am more or less pleased with it.

I might have to add more height to it, seeing as the root ball of my tree is probably 40cm diameter. Id add two more frames on top of this box if needed but for now i am not sure as to how to connect them to the rest of box.

Mesh will be added later. Dont have enough at home right now.

Thank you all for your advice.

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Looks good. I would just put a short vertical board in the corners to connect additional frames. I would put them on the side that runs through rather than the one that butts into that side.

I wouldn’t bother adding height if your using the box for recovery or transitioning, typically in this state keeping the box on the ground is where the magic happens.

I think it was Randy Knight who said and I am paraphrasing everyone is to eager to build feet and handles on boxes and get the tree up on a bench but it’s in a box for a reason it’s not ready.

Box came out nice and like anything after you build a few you will find a process that works for you. I have a no plastic in the garden rule and am an avid wood worker, so I make lots of boxes…some better than others. I use Doug fir from time to time and have an outdoor table I made out of it that’s lasted over time.

Where do you live that larch was available at a big box store?

Dont you think that the root base should be completely covered? Cause i doubt i can cover it completely if i leave it at that height without the soil pouring out.

I live in switzerland and that was the wood he recommended. They didnt have pine wood and i didnt see a lot of cedar wood.

Sorry I misunderstood what you meant by “adding height”, yes you want it to be tailored to the height and size you need for a particular tree. So your plan of action is perfect.

I guess that makes sense and Siberian Larch is a lovely warm tone. I never come across it in the US even in speciality wood stores.


I use to have piles of plastic nursery pots now it’s piles of boxes

Hehe i see :smiley: they look very nice too :smile:

Im not sure if the larch is siberian. I think its either german or swiss but not too sure.

At this point the box has cost me more than the actual tree :rofl: oh well…

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