This is a simple project that came about out of necessity and the fact that I had some old fence panels lying around that I picked up last summer when a neighbour was giving them away. When I picked them up I thought I would use them as a divider between the vegetable gardens and the flower garden that will be near the greenhouse soon (probably next year).
I have since changed plans for the area, I will be using vegetation as a divider instead, so I had no use for those wood fencing panels. That is, until I built the greenhouse and just set the plant pots on the tarp “floor”. After a while it became obvious that I needed to put the pots on something not only more stable, but that wouldn’t let them sink into the ground underneath.
I looked into plywood, but the cost was too much, and by next year it likely would have been ruined with water sitting under the pots on it, rarely drying. I thought about putting in the gravel now instead of in the fall (or perhaps next spring), but I don’t want to have to deal with it when I eventually remove the tarp underneath in favour of landscape fabric, and especially when I build the raised bed for along the North wall.
One day, when I had to move one of the fence panels out of the way to do something in the area, I noticed that they were still in really good shape, despite what they looked like and I had an epiphany. I took it over to the side of the greenhouse and sure enough, it was about the right length for what I was looking for and I decided to use them to hold up my plant pots.
Here is what I did:
I never got a before picture, but each section had a 2×4 post on each side that used to hold the fence upright, I used my skill saw to cut away the posts from the top and bottom rails, using the closest picket to the post as a guide. I chose to do it this way simply so that the rails would be flush with something, and so I could have somewhat of a guide to use for the cuts. I repeated this to cut off each post.
Next, I elevated the remaining piece of fence on some old pieces of wood and cut along the top rail, removing the very top parts of the pickets only.
Very Important Note: When I did this step, I went from the front of the fence panel and cut with the rail on the back side trying to use it as a guide. If I were to do it again I would cut on the back side, and I would set the edge of my saw against the rail. This won’t get the cut flush, but it will save you a real hassle, as I had to keep stopping and starting since I would sometimes cut into the rail itself. If you wanted it to be flush, you could always snap a chalk line down across the front side of the boards where the top of the rail is and follow it.
After the tops were cut off, I moved to the bottom of the pickets and repeated the process in the same manner. See the note after the last step for a better way to do this.
With everything cut, and them not being a permanent fixture in the greenhouse, I didn’t need to do anything else, so I moved them into the greenhouse and stacked the plants on them. If I was going to use them for longer, I would have stripped and repainted them with some good vinyl paint, but they are only temporary until the gravel goes in so I didn’t feel the need to splatter an old pair of pants.
I also used one of the pieces of the pickets that I cut off as a spacer for my automatic vent opener, which wasn’t allowing the window to close all the way when I first put it up.
I think my next project will be to use the extra 2×4 leftover from building the greenhouse to make a folding potting bench that will lay (nearly) flat against the back wall when not in use. I don’t quite have it designed in my head yet either, but I will do a post when it’s done… And this time I’ll remember to take pictures of all of the steps!