Container gardening is becoming increasingly popular for small properties and larger open gardens or decks where a raised planter provides a focal point and pleasant architectural relief. Planters or raised beds with open bottoms allow you to control soil conditions depending on your plants' requirements. A raised, deeper planter is also perfect for layered plantings of bulbs and perennials. And with a planter, it's easy to change the contents from flowering plants to herbs, for example, as your tastes and needs change. Raised planters or beds are also easier to plant and tend to, a real benefit for anyone with bad knees or backs.
The container planter in our project is made from cedar. Pressure treated wood is fine for flowering plants but should not be used if you plan to grow vegetables. Different sized planters can be constructed using the same construction detail. For example, make a taller planter by adding to the leg length and installing brace pieces between them. The length and width of the planter can be adjusted by changing the length of the rails. The depth of soil in the planter can also be adjusted by placing layers of Styrofoam on the floor of the planter.
What's In Store
- 4" x 4" cedar, 8 ft
- 5/4" x 6" cedar, 30 ft
- 1" x 6" cedar, 30 ft
- 2" x 2" cedar, 8 ft
- #8 3" deck screws 2182-818
- #8 1-1/2" deck screws 2182-952
- 3/8" dowel 2624-235
- landscape fabric 5010-445
- sandpaper 1230-956
- mitre saw 1347-037
- power drill #8 bit driver 1239-733
- hammer 1030-306
- measuring tape 1048-716
- sander 1262-369
- 3/8" drill bit 1214-359
Step By Step
- Cut the corner legs, the upper and lower rails, top trim, post caps, floor pieces, floor supports and the vertical siding pieces to length.
- Refer to the diagram, and mark the locations for the screws on the four legs.
- Using a 3/8" drill bit, drill holes at the screw locations half-way through the 4" x 4" leg pieces in order for the 3" screws to be countersunk to half the thickness of the 4" x 4". A piece of masking tape, or a mark 1-1/2" from the drill tip, will help to gauge the depth of the holes. A drill press is ideal here.
- Mark the locations for the rails on the legs.
- Clamp one set of rails to the legs and fasten with 3" deck screws. Repeat for the other three sides.
- Attach the vertical siding using 1-5/8" deck screws. Keep the siding flush with the top rails.
- Attach the 2" x 2" floor support pieces to the bottom of the siding using 3" deck screws. Install the floor pieces, leaving 1/2" between them for drainage, and attach with 1-5/8" deck screws.
- Attach the top trim pieces using 1-5/8" deck screws, and the four post caps.
- From 3/8" dowel, cut pieces 1" in length, and tap them into the drilled holes in the legs flush with the surface.
- Line the box with landscape fabric using a staple gun.
- Sand and finish with a good quality outdoor finish of your choice.