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cellophane 05-11-2010 08:46 AM

Building Raised Planters
I'm planning on building some planters over the coming weekend and before I invest in materials I'm looking for a little advice:

I plan on using all cedar construction with 4x4 posts on the corners, sunk into the ground for supports, a 1x6 cap around the whole box and 2x4 or 1x6 along the sides. The sides are the part I'm not sure about. Would a 1x6 be able to withstand the back pressure of the soil behind it without additional bracing? The boxes will be 24" or 36" wide by 36" or 48" long (need to measure the available area tonight) and 12-18" high.

And for fasteners - are there any things I should avoid or look for? I was planning on using exterior decking screws - something like this. I see McFeely's has about 1000 different options for exterior & deck screws - so I'm understandably a little lost.

Bushman 05-15-2010 06:01 AM

I would say yes to the 36 inch planter but that is about the max I would go with 1x6 without additional bracing. Check into using 5/4 deck board. It's 1/4 thicker then the 1x6 and it is treated. Personally I would narrow down the cap as well. Maybe a 4 inch cap max to keep it all tied in. I think a 1x6 cap would be to big for a 36x36 planter as it would be centered on the wall and take up 6 inches of space from the planter. IMO I don't see the need to anchor to the ground with the 4x4 posts. You lose portability should something change. I would also use a2x4 for corner supports. Filled with quality potting soil it will drain well and should not have too great a pressure exerting on the sides.
Be sure to line the bottom with good drainage material. Packing popcorn works well covered with landscape fabric. You don't want to create a bucket. Exterior grade screws will not rust and stain the wood. Good luck. I think I will build some now. I want to build some that stack up about 3 high looking as if they were a spiral staircase and fill them with herbs and keep it on my back deck for cooking. Thanks for the inspiration. Post some pics:)

Scuba_Dave 05-15-2010 08:49 AM

I use 3x5 timbers to build raised planters
I used the old vinyl siding to line the inside, then the cloth around the edges
Should last a long time

If you are using cedar 1x 3-4' long I would put a brace in the middle

Daniel Holzman 05-15-2010 10:08 AM

Cedar is good, although even cedar rots eventually when in direct contact with soil.
Redwood also works well. Avoid use of treated lumber, as it contains toxins. Exterior deck screws are good, stainless is better, but more expensive.

cellophane 05-24-2010 04:02 PM

Planter is built and filled in. Hopefully everything grows! There is a tomato plant, a squash, cucumber, strawberries and some beans on the far right. The pots are lemongrass and basil. There is also a blueberry bush off to the left out of frame and a small plot with a jalepeno plant and hopefully some onions. I also have a small herb planter (repurposed ottoman) with a few of the essentials. I'll fix the mid-way support later this week once I get a board that isnt split :whistling2:

Box is 4x4 corner posts, 2x4 sides and 1x6 across the top & mid-way bracing, all secured with stainless screws. I already know some things I will change next time I build one, but for being built in the yard on an uneven sidewalk in an afternoon I can't complain too much.

Thanks for the help!

I did learn that square drive screws are the greatest things ever - until you strip one...

GulfCoastRick 05-13-2011 08:10 AM

I used 2x10 treated lumber and boxed in three 4'x8' raised flower/garden beds.

Very durable, long lasting and economical.

8' 2x10's are only $5.99 each at Lowe's, consequently I built each planter for for $18!

To make them more decorative, add a cap.

Great job on your planter project.....very attractive!

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