How to Make an Easy Inexpensive Wood Planter

By Julie Sews - 9:08:00 PM

We have very limited space with sun in our backyard that has two huge trees canopying it.  One of the few spots that we have sun is our asphalt covered back driveway.  I figured we could fit up to 7 of these 3'x10.5"x 2' cedar boxes that I made if we want.  I made it just deep enough according to Mel Bartholomew  (the creator of the sq ft gardening method).  He said raised beds only need to be 6" deep, so I made them 9" deep just to be safe.  We put pea gravel  on the bottom and then mixed equal part compost to peat moss.  We then raised the beds with bricks to drain better (we plan to add 4 more than pictured) and to make them easier to use without using more wood than necessary (to keep costs down)  I am just starting with one for fall crops (We planted arugula), and we will make more for spring. 

I am learning wood working and have been trying to start with small easy projects.  So this is a good one for beginners. I think it turned out pretty well the only thing I would do different is I didn't measure the inside wood pieces right (mine were 10.5" long)  and I didn't want to fix it because I didn't feel like cutting it again (I cut it with a hand saw.)  So your finished project shouldn't have wood sticking out of the four corners and will look much better than the picture above.

Materials (costs under $35)
12 - 3'x3.5'x1" cedar wood (do not buy treated wood!  It will leach chemicals into your produce)
  6-  3'x3.5'x1" cedar wood
  4-  9.5"x1"x1 1/4" or 9.5 inch piece of thinner wood
1 1/4" screws
2" screws
4 bricks
1 part peat moss to one part compost

bottom of the planter
Step 1:  When purchasing your wood bring your cut list and have them cut it in store.  Make sure that they are all the same length before you check out, they can very when they cut it.
Step 2:  Using 2" screws drill make a box with 2 of your 3' and 2' pieces together. 
Step 3:  use 1-2 screws per board on each side to screw 6 three foot sections to the bottom, with spacing evened out on the bottom (I used screws to space them like you would for tile spacing).  The spaces are for drainage instead of drilling holes.  Try to make sure it's even. 
Step 4: Screw the 9.5" wood into the corners to the bottom of the planter
Step 5:  Screw the sides to the 9.5" long pieces

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Click Here for plans on a build as you grow potato planter out of wood.

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