Super Simple Planter Box

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Project by newTim posted 04-25-2016 10:48 PM 1839 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been fixing to try this approach for long while now. The problem with these boxes is connecting the corners so they don’t warp and/or pull apart. This is mainly due to drilling into the end grain. Also, 2×12 stock is heavy and I’m getting older, and it is expensive. I got 12 fence slats from the big Orange store for $2.60 each. I trimmed them to about 70” in length and the cut four in half to make 8 end pieces. I cut the 4×8 in four pieces to match the height of the four slats, about 23” and then cut a slightly wider dado, groove, whatever on the table saw. I screwed the bottom slats in place from the inside and my wife and I easily carried it out to the garden where I installed the rest of the slats. All in all, the whole thing took less time than Golden State to beat Houston in Game 3. :). And not a bad result.

We wanted to make it higher than the other ones as we’re getting tired of stooping to work, etc. I will probably add a 2×6 top rail so I can use it as a bench.

-- tim hill

11 comments so far

View oldnovice's profile


7604 posts in 4179 days

#1 posted 04-26-2016 12:49 AM

I wonder what, if anything, can make those corners come apart?
Nice job!
Now you need a foolproof way to keep telling weeds out.
Many people out here, California, put a layer of chicken wire on the bottom to keep the ground hogs and squirrels from attacking from below.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View EggMan's profile


70 posts in 2586 days

#2 posted 04-26-2016 03:47 AM

Great idea. But I can’t understand how these are screwed together. Can you provide a bit more detail to help me out.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3615 days

#3 posted 04-26-2016 11:43 AM

This would surely be helpful on the back

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View newTim's profile


622 posts in 4418 days

#4 posted 04-26-2016 04:00 PM

EggMan… The bottom and top rails from the inside through the inside corner.

-- tim hill

View DerekJ's profile


125 posts in 1699 days

#5 posted 04-26-2016 04:22 PM

Cool project! Did you sink the posts or bury the box at all, or is it just sitting on the ground? If sitting, how are you stopping soil from eroding out from under the sides during rain/watering?

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View newTim's profile


622 posts in 4418 days

#6 posted 04-26-2016 04:36 PM

Just sitting on level ground. We’ve never had a problem with soil erosion. Of course we’ve been in a drought for the past five years. :) But we’ve had planter boxes for years before that and never had a problem.

-- tim hill

View LesB's profile


2576 posts in 4254 days

#7 posted 04-26-2016 05:22 PM

Great way to put them together.
The only small problem I see is will the boards on the long sides eventually bow out with the pressure of the dirt inside. A couple of stakes could stop that.
A wire mesh in the bottom would help keep gophers and other critters out.

-- Les B, Oregon

View DCooksey's profile


44 posts in 1907 days

#8 posted 04-26-2016 05:42 PM

Nice simple design. I wish I had thought of this when I made ours last year. Bench definitely helps with a bad back.

-- There are rarely any mistakes made in turning, but there are a lot of on-the-fly design modifications!

View newTim's profile


622 posts in 4418 days

#9 posted 04-26-2016 07:05 PM

LesB… that was a concern so I did screw in a couple of vertical slats to add some stability. And I’m going to add a top rail, but the span is only about 6’ so we’ll see how much pressure is exerted. The nice thing about this design is the reduced expense and lighter weight.

-- tim hill

View newTim's profile


622 posts in 4418 days

#10 posted 04-29-2016 05:54 AM

Added a topper.

-- tim hill

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3324 days

#11 posted 06-06-2016 10:06 PM

Looks great Tim.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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