Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Lettuce boxes

Last year in my garden I grew many vegetables including kale and lettuce. I covered the lettuce with netting to prevent bugs but unfortunately I didn't cover the kale; by mid-summer it was no longer edible as it was full of caterpillars. I also didn't like the netting I used on the lettuce as it was always getting dirty and you couldn't see the lettuce through it. This year Eric and I decided to build what we call lettuce boxes. The plan was a wood frame with window screen surrounding it to prevent all the creepy crawlies but still allow sun and water to penetrate. There's no lid, when I want to harvest the lettuce or kale I'll just lift the box out of the way.


We spent a couple hours this past weekend making five frames. Materials included: power nailer, glue, stapler, window screen, measuring tape, and scrap wood we had laying around.

After making five frames we started putting the window screen on. We thought we had plenty with two rolls of 48", apparently we didn't. We used one roll per frame. We'll try out the two boxes in the garden this year, if they work we'll put screen on the other three.


  1. Nice. I need to try this to see if I can keep Suzee (puppy) from eating all our strawberries.

  2. Alex and I are going to be making similar boxes in May/June for our rabbit and chicken tractors. The only difference is we'll be using chicken wire I suppose and I have no idea how big they need to be; trial and error I guess. The rabbits will eat all the grass while the chickens will eat all the grass, grass roots, pebbles and bugs. Perfect natural way to prep garden space for next year.

    That being said, do you recommend a fence for your veggie garden to keep the dogs and critters out? Are the leafy veggies the only things that need to be sheltered using these boxes?

    1. I don't have a fence around my garden but everyone who sees it can't believe I don't need a fence. The only issues I have are caterpillars and the occasional chipmunk who sucks the juice out of a tomato but that seems to happen during dry hot summers. We don't have deer or rabbits come into our yard. Depends where you live for fencing, if it's more in the city and you see bunny rabbits hopping around the neighborhood you'll need a fence.

      As for the boxes, spinach, broccoli, and swiss chard would be other good candidates to use inside but most other plants like peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, beans, peas are all fine without any bug protection. Earwigs seem to like my swiss chard.