How to Build Your Own Planter Box

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How to Build Your Own Planter Box

Staff Writer · Mar 23, 2010

A planter box is an excellent way to grow flowers and herbs in a small or limited space. Oftentimes, planter boxes are not difficult to build and can be built to specific measurements to fit any area. There are a few steps to remember when building your own planter box.

Choose and Measure the Space

Choose the space you for your planter boxes carefully. The area should have adequate drainage and exposure to sunlight and be easily accessible for watering.

The next step is for you to measure the length, width and depth of the area where you intend to put your planter box. If you would like or plan on having multiple boxes, do not forget to include an inch or two in your length measurement to leave space between the boxes.

Choose Your Wood

Certain types of wood are better suited than others for planter boxes. Redwood and cedar repel insects and are less prone to rotting. Determine which of these two woods will work the best for your project. Of course, other types of wood may be more suited to your budget or plant types. Research these varieties carefully for their tendency to rot, ability to withstand the elements and their ease to use in building projects.

If you are not picky about the appearance of your planter box, or do not want it to last for more than one season or year, using remnants of mismatched wood is an option. Wood remnants should be available at any home building store.

Make a Diagram

For any home-improvement project, it is highly advisable to draw a diagram. The diagram does not have to be to scale, but should contain the measurements of respective areas. It is a good idea to write the specifications of your planter box underneath the diagram to ensure clarity. Additionally, include a list of any needed tools on the sheet so that everything is included on one sheet of paper. Take this paper with you when you purchase your materials.

Go Shopping and Ask For Help

After carefully planning your project, your next step is to purchase the necessary tools and materials. Do not be shy when shopping; the professionals at any home-decorating or building supply store should be able to answer any questions you have.

When picking the wood, check to see if it has any large gaps, bends or other major abnormalities that will prevent it from being easily used. Remember that a piece larger than your needs can be cut to a smaller size but that the reverse is not true. Should you use smaller pieces, oftentimes the store will be able to cut the wood to your exact measurements.

Build Away!

Once you have completely planned and shopped for your planter box project, of course you need to start building! To begin, drill two holes in the upper corner and two in the lower corner of the end panels of wood, making sure to use a smaller drill bit than your screws. Adjoin a side panel to an end panel, attaching but not completely tightening the screws. Next, attach the other side panel using the same care to not over-tighten the screws. When all four sides have been assembled, attach the base.  When all five pieces are fastened together, tighten all the screws.

The next step is to sand the corners and edges of the box. This will prevent slivers and other injuries.  Should you wish to paint or stain your planter box, now is the time to do so.

Plant Away!

With the box completely assembled and, if painted, dry, the next step is for you to fill it with soil. Make sure that the soil you chose is pH balanced and suitable for the type of plants you intend on using. Once filled, transfer the plants or bury the seeds.

A planter box is a great way to inexpensively and easily decorate your doorstep or balcony. With proper preparation, research and patience, almost everyone is able to build a unique box suited to the available space and plant types.

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