Introduction: Planter Boxes
This was part of a mothers day gift. I made two planter boxes 4 feet apart, both 3 feet wide, one 8 feet long and the other 12 feet long. They are about 16 inchs tall
Step 1: Items Needed
I bought all of this from Home Depot and I will break it out into sections.
For the sprinkler tie in:
1 - 1/2" X 24" Sprinkler pipe riser (to tap into an existing sprinkler head connection)
1 - 3/4" X 1/2" BRASS ADAPTER MHT X FIP LF (to connect the sprinkler pipe to a garden hose connection)
1 - QUICK CONNECT FEMALE END (for a garden hose)
For the drip line:
1 - QUICK CONNECT MALE END (to connect to the drip line adapter)
1 - 3/4 X 1/2 G.H ADAPTER FH X MIP (to connect the dripline manifold to the quick connect)
1 - 2 OUTLET ADJ FLOW MANIFOLD ORBIT (to connect to the drip line hose)
1 - 1/4" SOAKER HOSE 50' (Qty 2 if building both boxes)
For building both boxes: (not needed if only doing one)
1 - 1/4" BARBED COUPLING 50PK BIN25 (to connect the drip line tube to solid tube)
1 - 1/4" DRIP IRR TUBING 50' (to connect both boxes under ground)
13 - 3 CU FT KELLOGG GARDEN SOIL (12 ft box)
11 - 3 CU FT KELLOGG GARDEN SOIL (8 ft box)
3 - STEER MANURE 1CU FT EARTHGRO JLQ75 (12 ft box)
2 - STEER MANURE 1CU FT EARTHGRO JLQ75 (8 ft box)
For building the boxes: (if building both, only 9 12FT 2X6s needed)
8 - 2X6-12FT CON COMMON REDWOOD (12 ft box)
2 - 2X6-12FT CON COMMON REDWOOD (8 ft box)
6 - 2X6-8FT CON COMMON REDWOOD
4 - LSCZ 18GA ZMAX ADJ STAIR-STRINGER (Qty 8 if building both boxes)
4 - 3/8"X12" #3 REBAR (Qty 8 if building both boxes)
My total for everything came out to around $630 but you could probably cut a some of the price by buying the soil in bulk
Step 2: Cut the Wood
If you are only making one planter box, you will have extra wood. You will need to cut 2 12FT 2X6s into 4 equal boards roughly 3FT long.
If you are making two planter boxes, cut 3 12FT 2X6s into 4 equal boards roughly 3FT long.
Step 3: Build the Frame
The ((LSCZ 18GA ZMAX ADJ STAIR-STRINGER)) is designed for mounting stairs but before it is bent into place, it has an L bracket shape. This will be used to frame the corners.
Place the side with a middle section on it at the end of a long 2X6 (8 or 12 ft) while the board is laying flat on the ground or with something under it. Using screws, (I used short sheet rock screws that wouldn't go all the way through the board) secure the bracket flush with the end, centered on the board (you don't need to fill every hole with screws, only 1-2 per board. This will start the middle of the box.
Place a board on either side of the starter board while all three are laying flat on the ground. Using a short 2X6, (previously cut from a 12 ft board) place it at the end of the middle long board. Adjust the long outer boards so that they are flush with the short board staggering them from the center board (this will make them extend out past the bracket the width of a board forming a shape similar to a puzzle piece).
If you would like you can clamp the three boards in place or just screw them to the brackets while holding them together.
Once all three long boards are screwed to the first bracket, you can screw the short boards to the bracket forming the corner (don't worry if they want to lean inward, they will become square when fully put together).
Once the first corner is joined with one bracket, you can attach a bracket to the opposite side of the short boards. For this one, you will want to position the corner bracket so that the part in the middle that is open is toward the center board and the side of the bracket with a middle section is like a ledge for the opposite side.
Move to the opposite side of the long boards and screw them together with a bracket. Place a bracket on the end with the open side facing the long center board and secure it with screws. Secure the side boards to the bracket either with them being clamped or by holding them together yourself.
Place the shorter boards on the corner and secure it the same way as previously done.
Place the corner bracket with the connected middle section facing the end of the short board placing it flush with the end and secure it to the end of the middle board. Secure the two side boards to the bracket.
Set the long 2X6s on top of the side boards, lining them up with each end and forming a square (at this point the box is still on its side almost ready to tip over to sit properly on the ground). Secure the final two brackets to the last three boards and make sure, where possible, everything is flush.
Once all sides are secured to the corner brackets, tip the planter box off of its side to sit correctly on the ground.
Warning: The box is now heavier with all of the wood joined together. Use caution not to get hurt (especially if doing this alone).
Repeat this step if building another planter box with associated materials.
Step 4: Position the Box(s)
With the box(s) built, position them where you would like them to set. Once they are in the ideal places, use a piece of rebar in each corner to help hold its position but do not hammer them in. These are only needed so the box doesn't move temporarily, so make it so they are secure but removable.
Step 5: Sprinkler Tie In/Drip Line Install
Sprinkler tie in:
If there is a sprinkler head right where you want to add one or more of the boxes you are building, you can remove the head and tap into the sprinkler line (though this may not be ideal if you have grass in the area you would like to keep. This option is more if you are planning on putting stones between or around the boxes). Attach a 2 foot, or so, long sprinkler riser pipe into where the sprinkler screws into the main sprinkler line.
If you would like to use a drip line and you are building more than just one box, you will want to bury a line in the ground with a shovel. Stab the shovel into the ground about 3-5 inches below where the top of the ground level will be (may be different if removing the grass for the planter box). With the shovel in the ground, push and pull the handle back and forth a little to pry the ground apart enough to shove the drip line down into it. Following this pattern, continue spreading the ground in a continuous line to join both boxes with the solid, un-perforated drip line.
For mine, I cut a line in the grass between the corners closest to each other.
Lay the solid/smooth drip line down the crack in the ground you just created. Make sure you extend both sides so that you have them coming up about a few inches above where both box will be. It is best to give yourself some room so you don't have to redo the line when it's too late. You will need to run a total of two lines between the two boxes to connect both ends of the tube together to the manifold in the end.
Step 6: Ground Prep
You can do this one of a few ways:
1. With the box on the grass/ground, adjust the frame of the box so it sits flat. (the grass should/will die)
2. With the box on the grass/ground, using a shovel, stab a continuous line in the grass around the box outlining it and stabbing down about 2-3 inches. Remove the rebar posts in the corners marking the inside corners and place them at the outside corners (this is to make it easier to follow/see the line you just stabbed into the ground). Move the box out of where it was originally set. Using a shovel, dig about 4 inches inside the box line previously cut, digging down 2-3 inches and making a troft for the planter box. Place the planter box into the troft and move the rebar posts back to the inside corners of it.
3. With the box on the grass/ground, using a shovel, stab a continuous line in the grass around the box outlining it and stabbing down about 2-3 inches. Remove the rebar posts in the corners marking the inside corners and place them at the outside corners (this is to make it easier to follow/see the line you just stabbed into the ground). Move the box out of where it was originally set. Using a shovel, dig out the all of the grass about 1-2 inches down from the full planter base. Place the planter box into the dug out square and move the rebar posts back to the inside corners of it.
Once the ground is prepped and the box is in, drive the rebar posts so that the tops of them are at the top of the middle board.
Step 7: Preparing for Soil
If you have card board or some other permeable thing such as garden fabric or even regular fabric, it is ideal to place that down first. In my longer box, I placed a few sheets of card board down at the bottom and only dug out a troft for the box and placed the soil bails on top to keep them down. In my shorter box, I didn't have anything else so I dug out the grass for the entire box and put the soil directly on the ground.
Step 8: Filling the Boxes
Begin filling the boxes with the soil about half way up the box (be sure to keep track of your drip line if you have one coming up from the ground into the box).
Once about half full, level out the soil then add the manure. In my 12 foot box, I put 3 bags worth in and in my 8 foot box, I put 2 bags in. You can do more or less but that is what I would recommend.
Using a trowel or something so you don't get too dirty digging in the soil, level out the manure then fill the box the rest of the way up to be about 2 inches down. For my 12 foot box, it took (13) 3 CU FT garden soil bails to fill it. For my 8 foot box, it took (11) 3 CU FT garden soil bails to fill it up and it was a little bit more full than my 12 footer.
Step 9: Start Planting
Once you have all of your soil in the boxes, go ahead and start planting. Make sure if you have a drip line coming up the side of the box that you still know where it is.
Step 10: Drip Line Finish Up
Once all is planted as you would like, arrange the drip line how you would like it to go. Connect one end of the perforated drip line to the two port drip line manifold.
If you only have one box, connect the other end of the drip line to the same manifold closing the loop connection. (If you only have one box, skip to the next step)
If you have two boxes, connect the other end of the drip line to one of the lines going under ground to the other planter box. Arrange the drip line how you would like it to go in the second planter box, connecting one end to the end hooked to the first planter box. Connect the other end of the drip line to the other returning line to the first planter box. At the first planter box, connect a piece of perforated drip line to the second line connecting the two planter boxes. Connect the short piece of perforated drip line back to the manifold closing the loop connection linking both boxes together.
Step 11: Adding Water
With the drip line connected, attach the quick disconnect fittings to the drip line manifold. If you tied into the sprinkler system, attach the quick disconnect fittings to the sprinkler tie in pipe. Attach the quick disconnect attachment to a garden hose and connect it to the drip line manifold. Slowly turn on the water and water will fill the perforated line while it blows out the air. Leave the water on for a few minutes or until you see water coming out of all of the hose. If you tied into the sprinkler system, reattach the manifold to the sprinkler tie in pipe.