Introduction: Frontage Planter / Raised Garden Bed
Spring in Canada and it's that time in the year to prepare all outdoors activities leading to summer!
House improvement are not exception and with a wife really getting into gardening and floriculture in the past few years it was just about time to give her an improved space for her activities.
Several times she told me how nice it looked the raised garden beds that some other neighbors have so it was sort of a challenge and in this Instructable I will share my experience doing one in the frontage of my home and hope this help you to do yours if that's why you are reading.
So summer is around the corner and clock is ticking so without further ado let's do it!
Step 1: The Materials 📝
2x4 Treated wood.
4x4 Treated wood.
1x6 Treated wood.
Dowels & Glue.
Step 2: The Tools ⚒️
Rafter Angle Square
Step 3: The Plans 📐
Simple plans made on a graph paper after measuring the front of the house and the maximum height of the planter.
With this plans I calculated how much wood I needed to purchase.
Step 4: Remove Grass and Dig Holes
Quite straightforward step, measure where the wooden sides of the planter will be and dig with the shovel to remove the grass.
Then dig the holes for the 4x4 and 2x4 posts.
I used a garden trowel as well to remove some rocks at the end.
Tip: Don’t waste the grass you are removing if you can replant it somewhere else.
For instance I used it to cover spots from some 1ft x1ft concrete tiles I removed on the backyard.
Step 5: Install the Posts.
I first installed the 4x4 post beside the cement path and buried it leaving its top at 1 ½” (the actual thickness of a 2x4) from the cement line. This gave me the space to install later on a 2x4 in the top for a better looking finishing.
I used a level to keep post in the proper position.
To install the other posts I placed a string tied to two temporary posts (made with scrap wood) to be used as a guide and then buried the posts leaving again 1 ½” between the post and the string.
To save time in the installation of the other two 4x4 posts, I cut 3ft from a 1x6 and screw it square with the posts. I realized later it was a few inches longer than what I needed because the first post was at 34” from the wall... Oh well you know what it is said: “measure twice and cut once” seems I never learn that lesson, but nothing that a hand saw cannot fix later on.
Tip: I used a scrap piece of 2x4 and a hammer to compact very easily the soil around the posts without the need of any fancy tool.
Step 6: Install the Boards
Starting on the side where I have already attached a board to the 4x4 posts I dug a small canal for the second board to fit underneath it. The garden trowel was really helpful.
Then did pilot holes for the screws and installed the board.
I continued with this process on the front side of the planter not before trimming the excess on the first board.
A 45 degrees angle might give it a better finishing, but to be honest the side is barely seen.
I did a mark at 5 ½” (the actual width of a 1x6) from the top of the posts as a guide to install the bottom board.
Using clamps to keep boards in place and the level for reference the install was really fast and easy.
Step 7: Compact Soil (optional)
Before installing the top/border to the planter I compacted the soil close to the boards using a hammer and a scrap piece of 4x6 I had. Simple and easy.
I kept adding soil using a wheelbarrow, then watering, then more soil and compacting again using my super technological toolset ;)
Step 8: Install the Top Border
I presented the 2x4 on top of the columns and using clamps I made pilot holes using a 7/64 drill bit and then drilled pocket holes with a 21/64 drill bit before putting the screws.
The pocket holes were covered later with wooden dowels that I glued and sanded.
I cut the 2x4 to match the length of the boards and this time did a 45° angle in the joint of the corner. A super easy jig to do a straight cut is to measure and mark the angle first with a rafter angle square and then clamp a 2x4 as a guard/guide for the hand saw.
Last I drilled a hole and added a dowel crossing that intersection to reinforce the joint. To make the hole perpendicular to the joint I clamped the rafter angle square and using the hole in the square as a guide I drilled. But now I think that this was overkill.
Step 9: ...and It Is Finished!
Now we just need to add soil (lot of soil!) and transplant all the flowers that wife is doing indoors, but that won’t be until a few weeks.
Hope my experience building this frontage planter/ raised garden bed can help someone else in their project.
((Update: added new pictures with the Lilies in their magnificent blossom))
Participated in the