Gardening is fun, but it can be literally back-breaking. That's why I created this easy raised planter box. It made the perfect Mother's day gift for a Mom that likes to garden. Now she can plant flowers, vegetables, and herbs, all with ease.
This planter is 3' X 8' X 10". It's pretty large. However, it's easily customizable, just chop a few feet off the sides and you're good to go.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For the project, I used pressure treated wood. The wood is resistant to rot, decay, and termites, it's also fairly cheap. However, if you want a more aesthetically pleasing planter, I suggest using cedar. Cedar is sturdy and durable and can be stained for a nicer, more finished look.
As with any project, make sure you're putting your safety first. Use certified safety glasses (Z87.1) and ear protection. Wear gloves when handling wire. Don't wear gloves when cutting with a saw, they can get caught in the blade and....make a mess.
3 - 1" X 10" X 8' Boards
2 - 2" X 4" X 8' Boards
6 - 4" X 4" X 3' Posts
2 lbs. of 3" screws
Hardware Cloth or Wire Mesh (approximately 30 square feet)
Landscape Fabric (approximately 30 square feet)
Miter or Chop Saw
Manual Staple Gun
Wire Cutters or Tin Snips
As stated earlier, this is a fairly large planter box, it may help to have a few extra hands around.
Step 2: Prepare Wood
This is the time to cut any boards or posts that need to be cut. You can adjust the cuts to fit your own size and needs.
Cut one of the three 1" X 10" X 8' boards into two 1" X 10" X 3' boards. These will be used for the frame of the box.
Next, if needed, cut your posts into six 4" X 4" X 3' posts.
Finally, cut the three 2" X 4" X 8' boards into 2" X 4" X 3' boards. These will be used for the bottom of the box frame to support the box and soil inside of it.
That's it for the cutting!
Step 3: Assemble the Box Frame
Once all of your boards have been cut, you're ready to start putting things together.
First, screw the 1" X 10" X 3' into the end of the 1" X 10" X 8'. Make sure the ends are as flush as possible. I drilled four screws into the end to make sure the frame will be as sturdy as possible.
Next, screw the other 1" X 10" X 3' onto the other end of the 1" X 10" X 8', again making sure everything is even and flush.
Once the two 1" X 10" X 3' have been attached to the 1" X 10" X 8', flip the box over on its side, and attach the other 1" X 10" X 8' board to the two 1" X 10" X 3' boards.
This will give you the frame of the box.
Step 4: Attach the Posts to the Box Frame
Once the box frame has been constructed, you're ready to attach the posts.
Keeping the frame on the ground, line up the corner posts.
Screw the post to the frame, repeat on each corner.
I sank five screws into each side that made contact with the post, ten screws into each corner post.
Next, find the middle of the 1" X 10" X 8' (don't assume it's an even 8', it's probably not). Line up the center of the board with the center of a post. Drill five screws in an "X" pattern into the post.
You're planter should look like this after you've attached all of the posts.
Step 5: Attach the Wire Mesh
You have the box frame, now for the bottom of the box.
This is the hardest part of the entire project. It's INCREDIBLY important that the wire is as flat as possible. Make sure the wire mesh doesn't bubble or bow out in any places.
Equally important is the size of your mesh. I recommend using 4' wide hardware cloth or mesh, this gives you plenty of mess up room. We used 3' wide mesh, and...encountered difficulties. But hey, we messed up so you didn't have to! Because our wire was too short, we attached a small wooden lip to one side of the frame. If you find yourself with the same problem, a small 1" X 1" lip will fix it.
Measure and cut holes in the wire for the posts. Don't cut off too much. Cut short and cut more if you need to.
Once the wire is cut down to size, place it on the frame.
Line up the wire mesh with one 3' side of the frame. Staple the wire to the board. Pull the wire tight and staple around the frame. A staple every inch should do. We hammered the staples in to make sure they were really holding the wire tight.
Step 6: Add Support
Remember the 2" X 4" X 3" boards? This is where they come into play.
Evenly space them on the underside of the frame, but above the wire. We spaced them every ten inches from a post.
Once all of your boards have been placed, screw them into the frame.
Now you're ready to flip the whole thing right-side up. It's going to be fairly heavy, you may want one or two more people to help you.
Step 7: Attach Landscape Fabric
The landscape fabric is used to prevent any soil from falling out of the wire mesh. Landscape fabric allows water to pass through without losing any soil.
Ideally, you won't be doing this in 30 MPH wind by yourself and have to take pictures of it.
Measure and cut a strip of landscape fabric to length. You'll want the landscape fabric to be long enough to cover nearly all of the sides and go around the posts. If the landscape fabric doesn't wrap around the posts well, soil will fall through the gaps. That's why it's VERY IMPORTANT to cover the gaps near the post.
Once the landscape fabric has been cut and placed in the planter box, staple it in there.
Step 8: Start Planting!
And that's it! You're ready to fill it with soil and start planting!