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Picture of Waist High Planter Box
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This is an indestructable waist high planter box that we hope will bring us to partial "vegetable independence" from the grocery store this season. 

There has been a trend in the neighborhood towards planter boxes. I don't fully understand why vegetables can't just be grown in the ground like they did when we were kids, but I'm not about to buck this trend. Modern vegetables require way more care and attention than the rough and tough vegetables of yesteryear.

The vegibox as built has final outer dimensions of: Length=72",  Width=21 3/4", Height=11 3/4
The frame brings the top of the box to 31" off the ground. After installation on concrete pavers, the top height will be about 32" high which is about normal kitchen counter height. Bringing the planter up to waste height is a definite back saver as you can tend your veggie garden standing upright.

The vegibox consists of a cedar box supported by an indestructable 2x4 pine frame that will most likely be capable of supporting 2 to 3 times the load it will ever see. Definitely overkill on the frame. The box can be separated from the frame. The weight of soil and water will clamp the box to the frame - a gravity clamp. Cedar has good outdoor rot resistance which makes it a good choice for planter boxes. It is also untreated which means that toxins won't leach out of the cedar box into the vegetables. I chose untreated pine for the base because it is strong ( people build houses from 2x4's ) and with a coating of deck stain, will hopefully last a number of years in the outdoors. I prefer to avoid treated lumber even though they stopped using arsenic ( or more accurately chromated copper arsenate) some time back. 

Enough rambling - time to start building. With apologies to John Brown who I'm sure spent the day keeping the TV safe.


 
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jerry.geistjr made it!5 days ago

Great job... So I followed your plans to the most part. My wife did not want a 6 foot box, so mine is 4' long x 18" deep by 11" tall and is made primarily of 2x6 rip torn cedar boards that I had laying around and only bought 1x4's for the shelf. I do have one question, how did you cut the PVC cap in half? My first attempt did not go as planned... :)

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MidnightMaker (author)  jerry.geistjr4 days ago
That looks great! Clamp the PVC cap to work table using vice grips to clamp the wall section of the cap - the one jaw of the vice grips goes into the cap, the other jaw under the table. Hope that makes sense! Then use a hacksaw or jig saw to cut it in half.
godson19522 years ago
LOL,A super great idea to get the hubby build for the wife.As you mentioned about the tools
& materials.Well I'm not bragging but I do own all of them & also I can make all my own material,For I'm very lucky to also have my own LM2000 Nowoods bandsaw mill.So now I'll be making these from scratch.A great idea,you got my vote.I'll try different materials.Cause we don't have ceder here in Alberta.I know of wood known by different names called "black popular,or balm.Well I know it resistes rot when wet,So I'll use the for the box & use pine for the supports.And also keep watching for brilliant ideas.
MidnightMaker (author)  godson19522 years ago
One of the other comments further down suggested using pond liner for the bed. That should help the wood survive a long time but I'm sure research is required to prevent plastics leaching out into your plants if you are doing vegetables.. As with all the other potential makers of the box, post pictures when you are done - I'd like to see them

You can also paint the inside with Henry's Asphalt Emulsion. I grew up in a family business constructing ponds and growing the plants. We always sealed the wood or concrete with asphalt emulsion, since it gets into the cracks, etc. and won't pierce like liner.

Beautiful box!!! Clear instructions! But...isn't there always one?.. For the price of just one of those several power tools you call out, the wood and screws, and wow your time(pocket set screws. really?) you could buy an awful lot of veggies. And even cedar isn't forever. Aesthetic, spastetic, Is this a planter box, or a show piece?
Also, a 6 foot long garden? At best one or two trips to the produce dept.Large plastics totes set in a PVC frame..3 tines as long at 1/3 the cost.

A 6' long garden bed isn't unusual, I currently have a 4'x8' raised greenhouse Guarden bed, and am planning on making a couple of these boxes. For some people, it's not about the end product (vegetables) it's about having a garden, maintaining the garden, and enjoying the fruits of your labor. To simply put a price tag on this isn't the point. Also, any kit you could buy for less would have low quality wood and fall apart within a year. I did a ton of research before we built my potting bench. For about $250 I have a $800 value redwood bench that we can proudly say we built, and will last for years.

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MidnightMaker (author)  Cheese Queen2 years ago
Thanks... I think!
MidnightMaker (author)  Cheese Queen2 years ago
Thanks for the comments. The power tools I have had for a long time. They are not the greatest quality but they get the job done. I have been a maker since forever. A large number of the furniture pieces in my home were made by me. Building the box the way it is is an extension of the furniture building techniques I use. Building is therapy for me. I built this for my wife who is thrilled to have it. It wasn't about building the cheapest planter box.

Great box I'm going to make one this weekend. The box is a great balance between functionality and grace. Not only do I want some homegrown herbs but also when I look out the back window I want to see something that fits well with the landscaping. By the way cost -- What is the cost of any hobby and what is the benefit. I think if you lived in an apartment or an RV you may not want to build this project...

MidnightMaker (author)  edoremus11 months ago

Thanks - having an aesthetically pleasing box was important to me. Post pictures when you are done. There are some great examples of in these comments of other people's builds.

brenniep10 months ago
I loved the design for this box so much that we had to make two! I'm only 43, but I have pretty bad arthritis and could no longer do the kneeling, bending and squatting needed for gardening...even in low boxes because I'd get stuck down there and couldn't get back up. Yikes! These have given me the ability to have a wonderful garden again. Honestly, I didn't know how to do the pocket holes for screws like you did, so a few do show, but I tried to "toe screw" most of them, so they are hidden. for those that show, I used screws with heads that are sort of nice looking....if that's possible. Haha! I didn't put a solid bottom in for two reasons...one, to save some money in the cost of lumber since I was making two boxes, and two, because I just don't personally have the skills with tools that were needed....I am a girl, after all! I think I did ok, all in all, though. I laid burlap on the wire mesh and put pea gravel over the top of that to hold the soil in. To finish it off, I added a drip irrigation system under mulch. Talk about an almost "hands off" garden! I really, really love it. Thanks so much for sharing this plan!
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HannaV brenniep4 months ago

How did the bottomless box work out for you this season? These are such gorgeous planters!

brenniep HannaV4 months ago
It worked out really well! I don't think that I've ever gotten so much out of a garden! I couldn't believe it. I'm very, very happy with the boxes. No maintenance, whatsoever, other than turning on the spigot once in a while. :)
HannaV brenniep4 months ago

Thank you! Now that winter has finally hit, I'm having fun picking out projects for next year -- this will make the list!

MidnightMaker (author)  brenniep10 months ago
Wow, your boxes came out great! That's an excellent Idea for the bottom. Thanks for posting the picture - nice work!
Jaxoat2 years ago
Nice design. I may try an 8' version for this summer.

I had the same concern mentioned previously about the pocket holes being a water passage into the wood, I think inverted would be better. I wonder how biscuits and glue would work with cedar - I'll have to look into that.

I do have a question about the stand. I see some notches in the cross pieces when I look at one of the last pictures closely (read it first on the phone). Are those for any particular reason? I did not see any reference and figured you pulled something out of my bag of tricks when you made the drainage holes.

Thanks for sharing.
edoremus Jaxoat11 months ago

Kreg makes plugs for the holes. Just glue them in. Should make everything water tight.

MidnightMaker (author)  Jaxoat2 years ago
Biscuits will work just fine if u use waterproof glue like Elmer's Max. If u can find wider boards in your area that will be the best.

The notches are there for the gutters. These were an afterthought to prevent water dripping onto the shelf below. I slit 2" PVC pipe in half for the gutters. I will upload pictures later today.
I was thinking Gorilla Glue. I did some testing with oak a few years back and the joint broke beyond where the glue had seeped into the wood. In other words, the wood failed, not the glue. Quite impressive.

Looking forward to seeing the gutters.
MidnightMaker (author)  Jaxoat2 years ago
Uploaded the gutter pics and added some text. Hope it makes sense now
austinrogerson made it!12 months ago

I made it and lined the box with pieces of pallet to add to the look, combined 2-3 different pallets for different color combinations. Thank you for great, in-depth instruction!

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MidnightMaker (author)  austinrogerson12 months ago

That looks great! Nicely done!

RealDeal551 year ago

I joined this site so I could get the plans to your planter! I can't wait to try it out.

MidnightMaker (author)  RealDeal551 year ago

Great, post pictures when you are done!

csearcy1 made it!1 year ago

The planter turned out great. I bought the lumber according to the list, but had to go back to buy more 1x4x6's; I don't own a table saw, so couldn't split the 1x8x6. Also, couldn't find any decent cedar, so I used pine throughout and lined it with 4 mil plastic. I'll stain the base this weekend. This is my first woodworking project, so a few of my cuts are slightly off.

We absolutely love the planter box and plan to build another soon. Thanks for posting this.

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MidnightMaker (author)  csearcy11 year ago

Looks great! Well done!

I would add bracing lower down on the legs though. The sand is very heavy. You don't want an accidental bump from the left or right end causing the frame to collapse. Granted the weight of the sand will help stabilize the vertical 2x4's but I would be more comfortable with the additional bracing. I've marked the additional bracing in red.

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I joined this site especially so I could comment on your project but I think I will be coming back here often.

I was googling so I could whip up some planter boxes made out of scrap timber for the 100 or so sweet pea seedlings I have on the go. Your planter box is waaaaaay (WAY!) beyond the level of what I need, in fact the Taj Mahal compared to a one room shack, and I basically only have a saw and a power drill to make things with, but I enjoyed reading about it and it is always a pleasure to see a thing well-made. You have lots of clever ideas there, including the guttering etc. Plus I picked up some construction tips.

Very pleased to see your emphasis on safety as these things are so often overlooked. The one time my dad (with many years experience) did not use a pusher on his table saw, it necessitated a trip to the hospital to sew the top of his finger back on again....

Reasons planter boxes are being used rather than veggies direct in the ground (in no particular order: you can control the quality of the soil more readily; watering only waters what's in the box and doesn't feed the grass outside the veggie patch; raised beds = less bending; keeps out animals/easier to net; helps protect the plants; ppl are a slave to fashion! NB you can still get "old-fashioned" plants, just look for the ones called "heirloom" varieties. These are the ones that will breed true if you save the seed; modern hybrids usually won't.

Go the ALL-BLACKS!
TuttleDB1 year ago
I've been trying to describe what I want to my DH without much success. Your design is exactly what I want! Now he can't give me his perfected puzzled look while saying he doesn't understand! ;) Thank you!
MidnightMaker (author)  TuttleDB1 year ago
You are welcome... but this guide doesn't mean your DH won't come up with more creative "reasons" for not doing the work!
Marki v K1 year ago
Go Bokke!
MidnightMaker (author)  Marki v K1 year ago
LOL. Finally someone noticed!
vincent75202 years ago
Nice !…

Watching picture #3 from the 1st set of pics it's amazing how things can grow fast with your planter. With sunglasses too !…

Thanks for posting.
Congrats !!!…
MidnightMaker (author)  vincent75202 years ago
Cheers!
My daughter-in-law has been asking me to make some square foot gardens for her - the caveat is, she wanted them raised! So I have been kicking ideas around in my head on how best to do this. However, I opened my mail today and it led me to this project! I'll start making them next weekend (have to finish some other projects first). Thank you for leading the way.
MidnightMaker (author)  deadsnakebiting2 years ago
Post some pictures when you are done - I'd like to see them
ashwaths2 years ago
Nice! For at least one of of your boxes, try to set it up as a self-watering unit. Add pond-liner and a few bags of gravel ... would add 50-70 lbs to the weight but should cut your water consumption significantly and make your cedar box last longer.
Be sure to add an overflow drain.
MidnightMaker (author)  ashwaths2 years ago
That's a good idea. Thx
HelenaTroy2 years ago
This looks ideal for me! I'm visually impaired with a lower-spine injury, so I can't get down to ground level where I might be able to see plants. Most "raised beds" I've found only raise the level about four to six inches, which as far as I'm concerned is the same as ground level.

But this! now all I need is to get someone to build me one. Thanks for posting this!!!
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