Summer is just around the corner, and there's no better timethan now to start preparing your garden for the season. Whether you're aseasoned gardener or a beginner, a planter box is a great addition to anybackyard or patio. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to build a simple yetdurable planter box with hidden wheels, perfect for growing vegetables andherbs. We've chosen to use cedar wood for this project, as it is naturallyrot-resistant and safe for planting food. However, if you don't have access tocedar, redwood is a great alternative.
Step 1: Cut and Assemble the Balusters
To begin building our planter box, we first cut the 2 in. x2 in. balusters into two 48” pieces and four 21” pieces using a saw. We thenassembled them using 2” exterior decking screws, creating a rectangular framefor the planter. The remaining baluster was used to space out the two-by-foursin the next step. By using sturdy balusters and screws, our planter box is notonly durable but also able to support the weight of the soil and plants. Withthe frame in place, we can now move on to the next step of building the basefor our planter box.
Step 2: Build the Base
Once the frame was assembled, we moved on to building thebase of our planter box. Using a saw, we cut the cedar two-by-fours and spacedthem out using 2 in. x 2 in. wood balusters, which we had left over from theprevious step. We then secured the two-by-fours to the balusters using 1 ½”exterior decking screws, creating a sturdy base for our planter box. By usingcedar wood for the two-by-fours, our planter box base is not only resistant torot but also safe for planting food. With the base in place, we can now move onto the next step of building the walls for our planter box.
Step 3: Add Swiveling Casters to the Base
Before we begin building the walls of the planter box, wedecided to add some 3" swiveling casters to the base. We wanted to be ableto move our garden around easily, as we were uncertain about its long-termplacement. The wheels not only make our planter box resourceful but also add apractical element to its design.
When selecting the right caster for your outdoor gardenplanter, it's important to consider the type of environment it will be used in.That's why we chose CasterHQ's 3" Swivel Caster with Blue Solid Polyurethane Wheels.
These wheels are molded and machined for high performanceand longevity, making them an excellent choice for outdoor applications. Thesolid polyurethane wheel's one-piece design ensures that there is no treadseparation, which is important when navigating over uneven terrain. The wheel'sone-piece mold design also eliminates bonding failure, providing high impactand abrasion resistance. Additionally, these wheels are resistant to harshchemicals, including acids, cleaning chemicals, bleach, and water. This makesthem a great choice for environments where they may come into contact withfertilizers, pesticides, or other garden chemicals.
Overall, if you're looking for a caster that can withstandtough environments, CasterHQ's 3" Swivel Caster with Blue Solid Polyurethane Wheels is an excellent choice for your DIY garden planter.
To attach the casters to the base, we used 1 ½"exterior decking screws and drilled them through the pre-drilled holes in thecaster plate. With the casters now securely in place, we can move our planterbox around with ease. What makes this planter box design stand out is that thewheels are cleverly hidden, giving it a sleek and stationary look. Oncecompleted, the planter box will measure four feet wide, two feet deep, andapproximately two feet tall.
With the base and casters complete, we can now move on tothe next step of building the walls for our planter box.
Step 4: Add Picket Fencing to the Sides
Now that the base is finished, it's time to add the picketfencing to the sides of the planter box. To start, cut eight fence pickets into48" pieces and use the remaining eight 24" pieces for the shortersides. The lower board should be positioned about ¾" off the ground topartially conceal the wheels while allowing enough space to move the planteraround on uneven surfaces. We secured each picket on the sides with 1½"deck screws, using a carpenter's pencil as a spacer to ensure a ¼" gapbetween each picket. Continue this process until you have four rows installedaround the entire planter box.
Step 5: Attach Wire Mesh for Soil Support and CritterProtection
We added wire mesh to the base of the planter box for extrasupport and protection from critters. We used a staple gun to attach the wiremesh securely to the base. The mesh helps prevent soil erosion and keeps outunwanted visitors like rodents or other small animals. This step is crucial forcreating a stable and long-lasting garden planter that can withstand theelements and the environment it is placed in.
Step 6: Add Decorative Fence Pickets to the Corners
To give our planter box a more polished look, we decided toadd decorative fence pickets to the corners. For this step, you'll need 8 fencepickets cut at 22-¾” in length. We simply placed two pickets together andscrewed them in a 90-degree angle using deck screws. After that, we securedeach corner piece to the box using 1 ½” deck screws. This added detail not onlyenhances the aesthetic appeal of our planter box but also makes it morestructurally sound. With this step complete, our DIY planter box is starting totake shape and look like a professional garden addition.
Step 7: Add Weed Fabric and Drainage Holes to the PlanterBox
In order to add an extra layer of protection to the insideof the garden planter, we added a layer of weed fabric to the bottom of thebox. This fabric allows water to pass through, but prevents soil and otherdebris from seeping through. To ensure proper drainage, we also cut a few holesin the bottom of the box. While plastic can also be used as a barrier, we optedfor weed fabric as the cedar wood used in this planter box is naturallyrot-resistant.
Step 8: Add a Mitered Frame to the Planter Box
To complete the planter box, we recommend adding a miteredframe around the perimeter. This step not only adds a nice finishing touch butalso creates a practical work surface. Cut your fence pickets into two piecesmeasuring 30-¼” and two pieces measuring 54-¼” to create a 2 ½” lip around theoutside of the box. Secure the frame using 1 ½” exterior deck screws. With thisfinal step, your planter box will not only look professional, but it will alsobe a functional addition to your garden or patio space.
Step 9: Applying Eco-Friendly Stain and Wood Sealer to the Planter Box
We decided to increase the longevity of our planter box byusing an eco-friendly, non-toxic stain on the exterior of the box. Keep in mindthat staining your raised planters won't provide long-term protection. However,it can enhance the natural beauty of the wood by adding a rich color andenhancing the visual interest of the wood grain. To ensure maximum protection,it's best to follow the stain with a natural wood sealer product. This willhelp to seal in the stain and protect the wood from the elements.
Congratulations, your DIY planter box is now complete andready to be filled with your favorite vegetables. This sturdy and mobileplanter box is perfect for any backyard or patio. Don't forget that it'simportant to move your planter box around occasionally to ensure even sunlightexposure for your plants. We hope you enjoyed following along with our step-by-steptutorial. If you want to see the project in action, head on over to ourFacebook and Instagram, and check back soon for the full detailed tutorial thatwill be available on our YouTube channel.
Happy gardening wherever you choose to roll!
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