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Build a portable garden shelving unit.

You can savor the joys of gardening by building a portable stair-step garden shelving unit. This can be put anywhere. The stair-step can be made of any lumber, but redwood or cedar will weather the elements better. Or look into what local lumber is available in your area. I purchased rough cedar and oak lumber from a local sawmill to make two of the units.

Sunny spots can handle sun loving vegetables, herbs, or flowers, while a shady spot is great for shade tolerant plants or lettuce in the heat of summer.

To get started make the stair-step supports from four-foot lengths of 2 x 12 wood. Lay out the step pattern with a carpenter's square, making each step riser 6-1/2 inches high and the tread 10-3/32 inches deep. Cut the pattern with a circular saw and finish with a hand saw, if necessary.

Join the upper ends of the two step supports with a heavy galvanized eight-inch strap hinge so they will fold together for storage or moving to a new location.

Cut a two-foot long 2 x 4 support post for each stair support, make sure you're on level ground, elevate the supports until the treads are level and make the position of the support legs. Fasten them with 16d galvanized nails.

Cut the four shelves from 2 x 6's to the following lengths: one six-feet long; one five-feet long, one four-feet long; and one 2-1/2 feet long. You can cut spill-proof plantholders by cutting holes in the shelves to insert the pots. Hole diameters will vary with the size of your pots.

Neither stain nor preservative was applied to our plant steps, as we wanted them to weather naturally, but you can finish your project with a finish of your choice.

If you use redwood, don't use the expensive grades, as a lower cost construction grade is fine, because durability is more important than looks.

Materials list:

2 x 12 rough lumber -- 8 feet

2 x 6 rough lumber -- 18 feet

2 x 4 rough lumber -- 4 feet

6-inch galvanized strap hinge -- 1

16d galvanized box W -- 6
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Hunter, Jim
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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