Here's a relatively cheap way to add outdoor lighting without digging holes and pouring concrete. In the picture, we used two posts to hang Tuscan style outdoor string lights, but you could also use the posts individually.
This is an instructable on building a single light post planter. Scale up the supplies to build the number of Texas light posts necessary for your project.
Half-barrel "whiskey" planter (from local Depot)
Pressure treated 8 foot 4x4 fence post
Pressure treated 4 foot 2x4
2.5" exterior wood screws
Liquid Nails (optional)
2 bags of landscape rocks
2 bags of potting soil
Plants of choice
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Step 1: Cut 2x4 Bracing
First cut 4 braces from your 2x4 to support the post inside your planter. We wanted the braces to be about 4" from the top of the planter which allowed them to be covered by soil and attach to the planter where the metal support band wraps around the outside.
We mocked the braces up first with some scrap cardboard to ensure a good fit. Rough measurements for each brace were 10" along the top of the 2x4 and 9 1/4" along the bottom. The 3/4" difference matched the angle of the tapered planter just right.
Step 2: Assemble the Post, Bracing and Planter
It's good to have an extra set of hands for this step. This is also where I would recommend some quickdry liquid nails for stronger joints.
Since the post will cover the weeping hole on the bottom of the planter, we first drilled three smaller holes for drainage.
Place the post in the center of the planter and start sliding the 2x4 bracing in on each side of the post. Use a level to make sure your post is perfectly vertical before securing with screws. Attach each brace to the post with a toe-screw. Then secure the braces to the planter with a screw on each side of the metal band that holds the planter together. Finally, lay the whole assembly over and secure the post to the bottom of the planter with a couple of screws.
Step 3: Fill and Plant
The final step is to fill up the planter with soil and plants. We added two bags (about 2 cubic feet) of landscaping rocks first for added weight and better drainage. The rest (about 3 cubic feet) we filled with soil. The planter gets quite heavy once filled, so make sure you have it positioned where you want it before filling.
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