Giant Planter Made of Re-used Rocks




This is a great, fun, creative & cost efficient way to use natural resources to make the garden of your dreams!

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Step 1: Find Rocks

I found mine right outside my house. Rocks are literally everywhere, so keep your eyes open!

You can make your planter as big or small as you like.

I used about 4 wheelbarrows full of rocks for mine

Step 2: Outline the Area

Your going to want to use the bigger rocks for this. Make sure they are touching each other, and that they are not wobbly.

Step 3: Mix Your Cement

You can use cement, grout, or morter mix, but I would say that a mixture of cement and morter is best. It's up to you, but cement is really hard to mix.

The consistency of your mix needs to be pourable but not drippy.

Make sure you don't make too much at a time (it can dry up quickly)

Step 4: Pour Mix

Use a smaller bucket or a large cup to do this. Make sure to put extra in the indentations and crevasses where the rocks are touching. You may want to also use a sponge to wipe away any spillage that goes on the face of the rocks (the inside doesn't matter)

Step 5: Adult Lego's/Tetris Time!

This is the best part. You add more layers by selecting rocks to place upon the previous layer. Always make sure that there is a layer of cement on the top & bottom of each rock.

Step 6: Up Up & Away

Build your structure up until it is a height that you are happy with. Make sure that there are no empty spots or areas where there needs to be some extra cement or rock.

Step 7: Even It Out.

You can use a level tool, or just eyeball it. Just make it more even along the top.

I like to use smaller, flat rocks for this part. I feel like it gives a more "finished" look

You do not need to put layer of cement on top of your final layer of rocks

Step 8: Fill It Up

Add rocks, then dirt. This should fill your planter up no more than 1/4 of the way

Fill the remainder of your planter with soil

Add water as you fill with soil, this will help to compact it

Step 9: Plant Things

Step 10: Repeat

This is a highly addictive activity. Once you've completed your first planter- you will probably want to make more. You can make more planters as separate structures, or you can add onto what you already have made

Step 11: Show It Off

You will be so proud of yourself, I know I am! I love the look on people's faces when I tell them that I made this! (I'm a 22yr old skinny girl)

If I can do it you can too!

You'll be hooked

Step 12: Thanks!

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I do :)

by the way, I'm Sarah!

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    27 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I just did a rock instructable. I was looking for other ideas and I saw this. Awesome ible! And it looks great!


    5 years ago

    Hey Sarah nice garden


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job! There's a cement hoe available that should make mixing easier. Think big garden hoe with two holes.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That's fabulous, Sarah! And it's perfect for me: 1) I want planters; 2) Boy, have I got rocks. I live in the Seattle, WA area and our yards are basically rock piles with some dirt thrown in. Can't wait to try this out.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    10x but i will try it in small size .......... FB_72
    but your look it's so cut ;)


    6 years ago

    I live in San Diego county. The ground is too dry to really grow anything so I have to buy soil and the rock structure really secures the soil & helps hold in water

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi there, you are able to correct your soil without much effort. Instead of all the effort you need to put in to create your beautiful rock planters, try the following:

    Permiculture 101:
    Lay down a layer of cardboard boxes on top of your soil, wet it well, then place a thick layer of straw (about half a meter / 19" deep), wet that down too. Water this twice daily for about a week. In order to plant your plants, make a small hole in the straw, place a few handfuls of compost in the straw and plant directly into the compost. Remember to water early in the morning and again in the early evening. You will soon find that you can turn a dessert into a forest.

    You are welcome to comment back to me if you like:




    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction


    if properly maintained, the container garden she has built here, because it is open bottomed, will acomplish exactly as you've outlined naturally. it will also have the added benifit of providing wind breakage against the syphoning off of topsoil by the wind, which can be an even bigger issue for long term viability.

    my back yard is a simple 19' concrete slab, with about 1.5' of dirt between the slaband the fence. it is a rental,so imlimited in what i can do. what ihave done is built raised planter boxes that are against the fence,but have no bottom to them - essentially, a wooden version of this 'able here. the result is a container garden with all of the soilmaintenance benifits and no dranage issues.


    6 years ago on Step 2

    Its hard to come by those nice ,"I call them river rock"in my area,I did manage to find enough to go around my fish pond,and would love to have a bit more,but a pallet of that stone here would probably cost at least a couple hundred dollars,yours is a nice project though.


    6 years ago on Step 12

    Top idea Sarah...I notice you have a lovely wooden fence. You could enhance the fence by drilling holes in it at intervals and fitting a glass marble into the holes. You will get a kaleidoscope of colours when the sun shines on the marbles.


    6 years ago on Step 12

    Sarah, you rock! (no pun intended!!) Lovely garden planter.


    6 years ago

    Wow! Way to go, Sarah. I'm definitely going to try this.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful and sophisticated work, and not every woman works with techniques, you will be the best in the future ... God (Allah=in Arabic) with you.. amin


    6 years ago on Step 10

    What a desolate back yard! Where do you live? In the Southeast a big expanse of bare dirt is unheard-of. How do you distinguish dirt from soil? Were you wanting to keep precious water in your vegetable soil? If so, the rock structure might have a plastic sheet at bottom.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    "Re-used rocks" - HAA! Considering they've been sitting around for a billion years, I guess they have been used for SOMETHING before! As a matter of fact, here in Memphis we don't have rocks, just pea gravel as we are built on what the river left. So we use busted-up concrete!


    6 years ago on Step 12

    Que bonito trabajo, pero la ultima fotografia es lo mejor, gracias por compartir.


    6 years ago

    I used 4 bags, two of them are morter, two quickcrete. I actually did add an extra wall inside, it's plywood covered with weather proofing sheeting. I put mine along the fence because that's where I needed planters & I didn't want any empty areas that snakes or rodents could get into. As for the lime- you could use some plastic or some weather proofing cloth inside the planter as well, before adding soil.


    6 years ago on Step 12

    muy buen trabajo,y buena imaginacion para utilizar esas rocas,gracias por compartir su experiencia


    6 years ago

    Love it, Great job!!