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WatsonDIY

Building a planter box

June 22, 2015

My wife wanted to plant some herbs outside. One day were were shopping at the home center when she spotted a small cedar planter box. She wanted to buy it, but when I saw the $50 price tag I said "I can build one of those". I talked her out of it, but then I was obligated to build one with no real plan of what I was going to make.

Making it up as I go

I didn't want to spend a lot of money on materials, so I looked to see what I had laying around. I found four cedar fence boards left over from an old project, and a pressure treated 2x2.

The Sides: I stacked two six foot cedar fence boards together, and cut two 24" lengths and two 11-1/2" lengths. This gave me a box that was approximately 2 feet wide, 1 foot deep, and 1 foot tall.

Corner Boards: I ripped a 1-1/2" strip and a 2" strip from a single fence board. Since my fence boards were slightly over 1/2" thick, joining the two strips together gave me fairly symmetrical corners for my planter.

Top Trim: I ripped the remaining strip from the same fence board to 1-1/2". I used this and the leftover pieces of the corner boards as trim for the top of the planter.

Bottom Supports: Once I had the outer sides assembled, I cut two support runners out of my pressure treated 2x2 so they would fit inside the box. I nailed them to the inside so they sat about a half inch below the sides.

Bottom: I cut my final fence board into pieces that would fit inside the box nicely. Then I squared up the box and nailed them in place on top of the support runners.

Finishing the Planter

Since the planter was made from scraps I had laying around, I didn't want to spend money on a finish for it. I thought about just letting it weather grey, but my wife and I both agreed we would prefer some color. So, I just grabbed a can of deck stain I had left over. It was a little darker than I was hoping for, but it lightened up after it dried for a couple days.

Planting Herbs

In the interest of keeping things simple, I picked up a large bag of garden soil from the home center. I bought two bags, but one was all we needed to fill the planter box. While we were there my wife picked up some herbs she could plant in it (rosemary, oregano, etc.). They grew quite well in the box and we used fresh herbs all summer for cooking.