Do you think this would work as a container garden?

Hello,
I am new to this group, so please forgive me if this has been discussed before.
I have come to the conclusion that the one best place I can put my garden is on my deck. I do not need a really large garden, just a few tomato plants, some lettuce, a pepper plant or two, etc. As such, I tried a self-watering pot this summer on my deck. It more-or-less worked pretty good. But I am perplexed. It seems that somehow the soil sits on top of a grided plastic shelf (for lack of a better term) and the plants above stay watered. I contend that if there were some sort of wick, the system would work better. Nonetheless, it seemed to work pretty well and I got a lot of tomatoes off the one plant I had in the pot.
As a result, I thought I would build my own planters. Maybe one to start. I was going to use a Rubbermaid plastic container that is fairly shallow but holds eight gallons of water for my experiment. The container is about 42" x 21" (forgive me but I do not remember the depth--it was about 4"-5"). I will put this in a box that is made of composite lumber. I was thinking about using a bulk head fitting to drain the container in the winter. Inside the box, I thought I could put a row of 1x2 just above the plastic container. I would then build a screen using galvanized steel mesh wire using a mesh small enough to keep the soil out of the water. In lieu of that, I would put a piece of screen on top of the mesh.
Do you think this design would work? Do you think a wick of some sort would help? If so, what material would be best? An old T-shirt? Strips of old towel? Nothing?
Or would this be a stupid idea?
Any and all comments welcome!
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I recommend making your own mistakes.
Bill who sees nothing wrong with nothing.
..............
http://www.containergardeningtips.com /
http://www.csuohio.edu/history/shiga96/pages/gpln.html
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
"Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound
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On 1/1/2008 7:29 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Just be careful you are not putting too much weight on your deck, especially all in one spot. Using the Rubbermaid container, 8 gallons of water weighs 64 pounds; add the dry weight of the container and soil. One such planter is likely to be okay.
Also, if the deck is wood, be sure that the container is raised so that air circulates underneath. Otherwise, you risk rot.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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David,
My deck is pretty low to the ground but not much. I have to go up three steps to get on it. And it is more-or-less overbuilt, so I am not worried about putting too much weight on it.
The deck is wooden but I am also thinking about putting this container on wheels, thus elevating it a little above the deck. I will reinforce the bottom of the frame with angle iron if it seems like it is a little shaky.
Bill--I do not necessarily understand your answer. I know you are trying to say that I need to experiment and learn from my mistakes but if this is a really stupid idea, I would be foolish to not listen to people who know more than I do! So if you see a problem of some sort, please let me know!
Thanks, ray
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On Tue, 01 Jan 2008 13:08:29 -0800, "David E. Ross"

If I could put a king sized waterbed on the second floor of a hundred year old house with no problems, it should be fine to put ten of these planters on a deck. If the deck is cantilevering, that is different.
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