I have added this for interests sake to be honest as its not the most practical of shipping container buildings yet at the same time no doubt many are being used by people like the U.N. and military who can afford the extra costs involved of building a custom made container with electrical hydraulic systems.
But the other reason being is that it is possible to fabricate the two inserted container units by reducing the size of other containers although its unlikely to be stackable then again the size doesn’t match up with container dimensions either by the time you chop it down. Adding to that a cheaper method of adding holes for forklifts to pull the containers out of the main one would make it a cheaper option but also means you can still get away with one container delivery as everything fits inside the one container.
Interesting concept and would be interested to see if anyone’s developed a more simple method of doing it.
Not always relevant as you may be getting soil from a garden centre at the same time you could be out in the back of nowhere or wanting to use your own soil. Identifying your soil types and the types of plants/crops they can be used for will improve your chance of good yields. At the same time doing a bit of research also means you can adapt the soil to the purpose of the types of plants you want to grow by adding in whatever nutrients the soil could do with being added if any.
Testing soil is necessary and easy to do, doing it at the beginning also means you can adapt it quickly without plant disruption and more importantly won’t suffer with failed plants due to the wrong type of soil used for them. This is why soil testing is the first step in your container garden and you will need to know that it has the right nutrients for certain plants to flourish.
This is also a good way to monitor your soil for its nutrients, the soil will need Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium to continue providing healthy plants. Where possible take the test at the end or a few months before the growing season (plan to plant) to correct the soil problems. Also just as important the soil should be dry as false results could be given otherwise.
There are various test kits available and some are easier to use than others. I would advise checking reviews on places like Amazon to see how other people found them. Some kits are also designated to only test specific nutrients.
Now as this is a container garden and not a general household garden or field I would say try and select soil from areas that you know have good nutrients already (as obviously you don’t want to be repairing an entire field with nutrients when your only needing your container soil improved).
Grab a bucket and a shovel and head to where your looking to select your soil from. Dig around 7” deep with 6 holes and take a shovel of dirt from each hole dug. When dug mix the samples together and remove 2 cups from your test sample.
Then read the guidelines given to you by the test kit purchased.
Soil test completed you are no doubt going to have some results at the same time going to be looking at transferring your soil to containers. The problems your likely to face are below, some of them it would be easier to select soil elsewhere but pretty much everything can be dealt with.
High PH: Mix some sulpher into the soil.
Low PH: Mix some lime into the soil.
Low Nitrogen: Mix nitrogen rich fertilizers into the soil.
High Nitrogen: Water well, and avoid adding fertilizers for three to six months.
Low Phosphorus: Mix super phosphate and bone meal into gardening area.
High Phosphorus: By growing more plants will aid in absorbing extra phosphorus
Now there is also the chance of the figures being out simply because there are other layers of soil below the sample level that could have affected the results. If using the field these are relevant but as we are taking the soil away for planting they won’t be causing anymore disruption in future but will also be a reason why you monitor the soil on a regular basis to get its levels right.
The first photo is actually the last I took the day after, its the stairs after they have been sand blasted and painted. The others are the process at different stages. I had taken the stairs out of the apartment yesterday to get them ready for sand blasting and painting. The sandblaster hadn’t been used in over a year which resulted in it and the compressor having to be cleaned down before I could use them. By the time I had finished that it was already lunchtime and very hot, when I finally did start blasting the rain rolled in to ruin the day. It did only last twenty minutes but it then took another hour for the stairs to dry before I could give them another blast. I had tried to video what I see when sand blasting but it didn’t turn out very well so I just took the photos you see below instead. I did manage to get the stairs painted though but expect they will need touching up by the time they are dropped back into place.
I was hoping to get the wall behind the stairs covered in metal sheeting today but the best I could manage was pre drilling the holes in the sheets, This helps in getting the holes all straight and uniform.
When looking to build a shipping container home be aware that some skills are needed and if you haven’t got them its worth getting someone else in to cover the bits you don’t know. For example I can do electrical,heating,cooling,carpentry and joinery but welding isn’t something I have had to utilize in my construction work before because generally we build with brick in the UK. At the same time if needed I would be willing to spend time learning if need be. You have to remember this is your home your building and not just a weekend project. If done wrong it could be a disaster and a project that has to be rebuilt. I would always advise taking advice from professionals at the same time there are things you can do to make life easier such as buying the shipping containers “pre cut” at the dockside to save you time and also to make sure the holes are the right size and in the right place. If they make a mistake its their problem they have to put right not yours.
PVC plastic pipe was used with rebar inside 600×600 mm holes, although the approximate depth isn’t shown I would say to get someone to work it out for you on the weight your putting on top as well as the strength of the ground your sitting upon to reduce risk of movement.
Setting a string out across the top of the PVC also allows leveling off before pouring to make sure the containers going to sit properly. In these they were then poured with concrete on site in place 8 holes and pipes taking 2 days to complete.
Another good idea they came up with though will working on this is that if the ground is level and you wanted to make all the posts in one go (Which also means you can do this and transport them to where you need if restricted on materials for concrete).
You take one piece of PVC piping and cut to length
Then cut it in half
Rivot a piano hinge down the one side
Add 2 luggage clamps to hold it together
Hey presto you now have a jig for making the posts saving money on PVC pipe and not only that if its tall enough you can use it for what they are now which is concrete fence posts.