Are you dreaming of a stunning outdoor oasis that you can call your own? Have you thought about starting a garden but feel overwhelmed with the various options for planting beds and containers? If so, then building a wooden planter box might be the perfect solution for you. Not only is it simple and cost-effective, but it can also be tailored to suit any size or style preference, adding a unique touch to your garden.
This blog post will guide you through the materials you need, the tools required for construction, step-by-step instructions on how to build the planter box, and tips on designing it to bring out its charm and character, making it an exciting DIY project. As you can see I’ve doubled up the use of this planter for some additional log storage.
Table of Contents
Step 1. Choose the right wood
When growing plants in an outdoor planter box, cedar is a great choice for wood. This wood is excellent for growing tomatoes and other garden plants due to its beautiful appearance and durability.
Cedar is an excellent choice for outdoor projects for several reasons. First, it has natural oils that make it resistant to decay, rot, and insect infestation, which is crucial when building structures that will be exposed to the elements. Second, cedar is lightweight, making it easy to work with, but still durable and strong. Third, it has a beautiful natural colour and grain pattern that adds to the overall aesthetic of the project. Fourth, cedar has a low shrinkage rate, meaning it is less likely to warp or crack due to changes in temperature or humidity. Lastly, cedar is a sustainable and renewable resource, making it an environmentally friendly option for outdoor projects.
tThere are several more types of wood that are suitable for building outdoor planters, including:
- Redwood: Similar to cedar, redwood has natural oils that make it resistant to decay and insects. It is also durable and has a beautiful natural colour.
- Teak: Teak is a dense and durable hardwood that is highly resistant to decay, rot, and insects. It is also known for its beautiful golden brown colour and natural resistance to weathering.
- Cypress: Cypress is a hardwood that is naturally resistant to rot and insects, making it a popular choice for outdoor projects. It also has a unique, rustic appearance that can add character to a planter.
- Pressure-treated pine: Pine can be pressure-treated with chemicals to make it more resistant to decay and insects. This is a cost-effective option that can be stained or painted to match your outdoor decor.
It’s important to note that when selecting wood for outdoor projects, you should look for types that are naturally resistant to decay and insects or that have been treated with chemicals to enhance their durability. Additionally, you should consider the overall appearance of the wood and how it will complement your outdoor space.
For my project I’ve decided to use some treated Douglas fir. It’s readily available and come in a number of different sizes for this type of build.
Step 2. Gather your materials
Before you start building, you’ll need to gather all the materials you’ll need for the project. I purchased the Douglas fir 47mm x 100mm timber from a local merchant, some 50mm x 50mm corner posts and some screws. I’ve also used some plastic sheeting and some outdoor paint to further protect the wood.
With regards to tools, I used a tape measure, circular saw, mitre saw and a pencil. Thats all.
Step 3. Measure and cut your boards
Once you have all your materials together, you’ll need to measure and cut your boards to the right size. The size of your planter box will depend on your personal preferences, maybe you’re building it to fit a specific space or maybe you have some freedom and a standard size is perfect.
I’ve overlapped my boards for aesthetic reasons and for a bit of extra strength. With this being a raised planter the feet are cut to even sizes to support the weight of the soil in the container above.
4. Assemble your box
Once your boards are cut to size, it’s time to assemble your planter box. To do this, you’ll need to drill pilot holes in each of your boards and then screw them together to form the box shape. You may want to add some wood glue to the joints for added stability. Make sure your box is square and level as you go along. I’ve used supporting corner posts to secure all the pieces together. It helps keep the screws hidden inside the box.
5. Add a bottom and drainage holes
You’ll want to add a bottom to your planter box to ensure your plants have the drainage they need. This can be done by attaching a piece of plywood or some slats of wood to the bottom of the box. Be sure to drill some drainage holes in the bottom of the box to allow excess water to escape.
I’ve added some drainage holes at either end of my planter box so that water can drain out of the end, not onto the wood stored below.
6. Sand and finish your planter box
Once your planter box is assembled, it’s time to sand and finish it. Use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or splinters on the wood, and then apply a coat of wood stain or outdoor sealant to protect the wood from the elements. Let the finish dry completely before adding any soil or plants.
Building your own wooden planter box is a great way to add some natural beauty to your outdoor space. With these simple steps, you can create a practical and stylish addition to your garden that you can enjoy for years to come. So grab your tools and get started today!
What can I grow in my planter?
As you can see we have planted bamboo in our planter. This adds a nice scenery backdrop on our garden and increases our privacy from the neighbours. You do however have plenty of options for what you can grow in a planter like this.
Here are some more options for suitable plants to grow in a planter:
- Flowers: You can plant a variety of flowers in your planter, such as marigolds, petunias, pansies, and geraniums. These plants can add a pop of color to your outdoor space and attract bees and butterflies.
- Herbs: Growing herbs in a planter is a great way to have fresh herbs on hand for cooking. Some popular herbs to grow in a planter include basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley.
- Vegetables: You can also grow vegetables in a planter, such as tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and spinach. Just make sure to build a planter that is deep enough to accommodate the roots of these plants.
- Succulents: Succulents are low-maintenance plants that are perfect for a planter. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can add a unique touch to your outdoor space.
- Trees: If you have a large planter, you can even grow a small tree, such as a citrus tree or a dwarf fruit tree. This can add shade and fruit to your outdoor space.
When choosing plants for your planter, make sure to consider their sunlight and water requirements, as well as their size and growth habits. You can also mix and match different types of plants to create a unique and interesting planter display.