Garden boxes are a feature of your campsite. Your campsite contains three garden boxes, which cannot be upgraded.
Garden boxes can be used to grow tomato plants and pumpkin plants. Alternatively, you can build a scarecrow in a garden box.
Growing Plants Edit
Before you can grow a plant in a garden box, you will have to find a seed from a plant in the wild.
Once you have found a seed, approach the garden box with the seed in your inventory, until the Interact menu for the garden box appears. Use the garden box to open up the Gardening menu. Use the arrows to the right and left of the Gardening menu to navigate through the options for what you can put in the garden box. If you want to plant a Tomato plant, you will need to have a Tomato seed in your inventory, navigate to the Tomato Plant option in the Gardening menu, and then press the green button on the lower left-hand side of the gardening menu. Once you press the button, your seed will be planted and the plant will begin to grow. After a number of days, the plant will mature and produce either tomatoes or pumpkins, depending on the seed planted in the box. These tomatoes and pumpkins can be used as food or for crafting, just like tomatoes and pumpkins found in the woods. You cannot grow berry plants in your garden because berry seeds do not exist in the game. You can accelerate the growth process by watering the plant once per day.
After the seed is planted, but before the plant matures, you can uproot the plant. This will destroy the plant and you will get one seed of the appropriate type in your inventory.
After the plant has matured, you can harvest the food it produces. To do this, you will need a free slot in your inventory, or a slot containing fewer than 10 of the type of food you are harvesting. Just like plants in the wild, you can harvest more than one piece of food from the plant, but if you harvest all of the food, the plant will disappear. Unlike plants in the wild, a completely-harvested plant in one of your garden boxes will not grow back. You will have to obtain a new seed and start over. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not harvest all of the food from any plant in a garden box. Leave at least one remaining on the plant. Not only will it not disappear, it will continue to produce food. This can really help you stretch your food supply, and save you space in your inventory and stash.
Plants in the garden boxes have a secondary benefit: if zombies make it into your camp, the plants will slow their movement speed. This is a minor benefit at best because if the zombies are in your camp, you will still have to kill them to escape.
In lieu of growing plants in your garden boxes, you can instead build scarecrows in them. To build a scarecrow in a garden box, open the Gardening menu and navigate through the list until you find the scarecrow recipe, then click on the green button to build the scarecrow. This will cost a set amount of resources, which you will need to have in your inventory. If you do not have the required resources in your inventory, you will not be allowed to build a scarecrow.
The function of the scarecrow is similar to that of the Gate: it will stop the zombie's advance, and the zombie will attack the scarecrow until the scarecrow is destroyed. Faced with the choice of attacking you or a scarecrow, the zombie will attack the scarecrow, allowing you to attack the zombie will the zombie is preoccupied.
In terms of campsite security, the scarecrow is superior to a plant because it completely stops a zombie's movement and it takes hits that would otherwise go to your character, while a plant just slows zombies down. However, because zombie attacks trap you within your campsite, and you have to fight past them to get out again, the benefit is negligible. Additionally, you cannot have both a scarecrow and a plant in the same garden box, which cuts down on the usefulness of the scarecrow.