How to Build a Raised Herb-Garden Planter
Four deck posts and a few boards are all you need to create this practical, compact planting bed
Growing fresh herbs indoors can be a tricky task, but an outdoor garden bed requires yard space that not all of us have. So what's an herb lover to do? If you've got a free afternoon and basic carpentry skills, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva has the perfect solution: Build an all-weather raised planter that can live on your porch or patio. This compact piece takes up less than 6 square feet and has a few handy hooks to hold your gardening tools. Best of all, it will let you enjoy fresh herbs all season long without back-breaking labor.
Shown: Colonial pressure-treated-pine deck post; available at home centers.
Stain: Cabot's Semi-Transparent Deck & Siding Stain in Cordovan Brown
Herb-Garden Planter Overview
Herbs should be grown in soil that's at least 4 to 5 inches deep, says the National Gardening Association. We built our planter from pressure-treated lumber: four deck posts and some 1x6s and 2x2 balusters. Tom cut the parts on a miter saw, but you can use a portable circular saw or even a handsaw instead. The bottom of the planter consists of a couple of floorboards to support a sturdy liner that holds the soil. We used a plastic utility tub for this purpose and simply sized the planter to enclose it.
Herb-Garden Planter Cut List
3¼-inch-square corner posts: 4 @ 36 inches
1x6 for short sides: 4 @ 22½ inches
1x6 for long sides: 4 @ 34 inches
1x6 floorboards: 2 cut to fit (Ours were 25 inches.)
2x2 cleats for long sides: 2 @ 31¼ inches
2x2 for long sides: 4 @ 7¼ inches
2x2 for short sides and corner blocks: 10 @ 8½ inches