Last Updated on July 21, 2020
Gardening enthusiasts are constantly looking for ways to include more plants in their gardens or backyards.
Planters display your favorite plants and flowers and highlight them. A variety of different types of planters also adds more personality to the garden.
Along with concrete planters and terracotta planters, you can also use wooden planters. The best thing about these is they are cheap, are beautiful and can easily be built by anybody at home. You can make a DIY planter box at home for as little as $10!
What are planter boxes?
Planter boxes are most commonly used in urban areas and cities for people to display their favorite plants and flowers in their homes and in their backyards.
But planter boxes aren’t simply for aesthetics. They are proper bio-retention structures with their own drainage system.
Planter boxes can be made of anything, from concrete, to clay to wood. They often also have brackets so they can be hung outside or can be affixed to windows. Planter boxes are quite trending because of their minimalistic design and timeless appeal.
Why do you need one?
Why must you bother with a planter box, though, when you can just plant some in the ground directly?
You might be wondering if you actually need a planter box, or if it is just an added hustle for no real benefits?
While you sure can place your plants in the ground and they can grow just as well, planter boxes do not come with no advantages of their own. We’re going to be exclusively discussing wooden planter boxes here since those are the ones you can easily make at home.
There are certain gains to the plants and the gardener overplanting in the ground.
Better Water Regulation
All planter boxes have drainage holes at the bottom for excess water to pass through. The planter box ensures that the soil retains the water it needs and lets the rest flow through.
The water is evenly distributed across the box, so no plant has more or less water than it needs. Unlike the ground, where too much watering can choke a plant, planter boxes know when they have had enough.
If you want to move the plant to a different area of the house to change the look of the place, you no longer have to get your hands dirty in pulling out the delicate plants.
You can simply move the planter wherever you need to. With planter boxes, you can also display your plants in unique ways, such as hanging from the porch, perching on your window sill, or sitting along your sidewalk.
Better Nutrient Distribution
The soil also has better nutrient distribution as no weeds are competing with the plants or taking away from the soil.
The planter box safeguards your plants from a lot of things that they would are exposed to when planted in the ground.
One of the woes of any gardener is pests, such as snails, bugs, caterpillars, and beetles.
The planter box serves as a shield between the healthy plants and ensures that pests don’t have an easy way in. They are also not automatically in harm’s way if the neighboring plant has been compromised.
Keeps Weeds Away
In the same way, unwanted growth of sidewalk weed can easily be prevented in a planter box. The wooden crate provides a barrier against all sorts of unwanted attention towards the plants.
Separated from the garden soil, weeds creeping around on the ground pose no threat to the plants safely cradled in the planter.
Planter boxes look very pretty, especially DIY ones, as they can be customized, colored, and decorated in a multitude of unique ways. They can be made so they can complement the overall theme of your garden, or the exterior décor of your house.
Even left simple, the wood lends a beautiful, minimalist look that is all the rage these days. In typical Nordic style, even the most simple and basic design can add a wonderful touch to your garden.
The DIY planter boxes are an environmentally friendly option as they ensure the recycling of natural materials instead of the production of more commercial planters.
Step by step guide for making one for your garden
If you are a gardening enthusiast and also love DIYing, there is no better project than making a DIY planter box for your garden. The project requires no expensive materials, no excessive effort, and is a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon and let out the creative bug in you.
Materials you will need
You probably have most of this material lying around at home, so you don’t have to make any runs to the hardware store to pick up much.
- Wooden Planks
- Drill Machine
- Wood Glue or Screws
- Paints or Varnish (optional)
- Chicken Wire
- Plastic Sheet
- First things first. Take your wooden planks and measure them. Use the saw to cut the planks to the desired length that you want your planter box to be. You should also smooth out any rough edges, so it is ready to be assembled.
- Next, assemble the plants to take the shape of a box. Take the cut-out planks and glue them together with generous servings of glue. You can additionally put in exterior screws if you are making bigger planters so that the planter will hold under the weight of the soil.
- Make sure the planks are strongly glued and screwed together.
- Turn the planter upside down, and take out your drilling gun. The planter needs drainage holes so it can regulate water and not become flooded with overwatering. Take the drill gun and make holes in the bottom of the planter box. How big you keep the holes depends on the size of your planter box, but it is generally sufficient to make various small holes across the bottom. Make sure the drainage holes are evenly spread out across the entire surface.
- Your planter is essentially built now. If you wish, you can take some paints and color the planter in whatever shade you want. Alternatively, you can simply wipe down the planter with wood varnish to give it a beautiful shiny finish. If you wish to skip out this step and leave the planter in its raw wooden state, that is good enough as well.
- The planter is complete. Leave it out to dry for a day before putting in your plants.
The new home for your beloved plants is ready now. Pour in the potting soil and transfer your plants to their new home. You can place the planters anywhere you please. Your labor of love is complete.
Once you have gotten the hang of making simple DIY planter boxes, you can move to fancier ones and add variety to your place.
Raised planters are also a fun idea, and need hardly any extra effort except for attaching feet to the planter box made above to raise the bed. You can also make more complicated planter boxes with steps, where each step of the box holds a different flower.
Tips and Tricks
Following are some additional tips and advice on building, maintain, and caring for your DIY planter boxes so they can last a long time.
- Decide beforehand what plant you want to place in the planter box. Different plants have different needs. Some don’t grow too much, while some need lots of room to grow. The size and other specifics must be determined according to the needs of the plant that will eventually live there.
- Keep the planter box 6-12 inches deep to allow the roots enough space to grow. Bigger plants may need deeper plants, but for most small plants, 6 inches is a good enough depth.
- Place a lining of landscape fabric in the planter before putting in the potting mixture if you are worried about the soil seeping out along with the water. The landscape fabric sheet will allow water to pass through but prevent the soil from going along with it.
- Alternatively, if you feel the drainage holes are too big and can sweep away the soil along with the water, you can line the bed with some rocks.
- Place the planter on some bricks or stones in the garden to allow air circulation.
- To prevent the wooden planter from rotting, you can place a plastic sheet at the bottom. However, make sure to poke holes in it, or else there will be no place for the water to go.
- You can use old picket fence planks or wood from discarded furniture to make these planters.
DIY planter boxes are not only fun to make, but also a cheaper alternative to buying planter boxes from the market.
They are also more environmentally friendly and encourage recycling of leftover or unused wood to make something valuable. They can transform the look and add an oomph to your porch, garden, or backyard, and make your small garden come to life.