The last house we bought was our first opportunity to have garden beds. After I placed the first raised bed we quickly realized we needed more.
Gardening was infectious, fun and gratifying. The kids enjoyed getting a free pass to play in the dirt and mom and dad enjoyed the wholesome family time that gardening provided.
So when we sold that house and bought our new house, I knew raised garden beds were one of the first projects I was going to have to take care of.
Inevitably new flowers are picked out and laid claim to by each of the children. They love gardening. Sometimes I think they enjoy it even more than their parents.
Peas from a can is hard to get anyone to touch them much less eat them. Peas from the backyard however are the hottest ticket at the dinner table.
I believe it is important to let our children have at least some ownership of family activities.
Give them a spot in the garden they can call their own and watch not only what they plant flourish, but you also get the benefit of watching your children flourish as well.
That is why I decided to build this,
Cedar Garden Planter Box.
Materials:UPDATED MATERIALS LIST AS OF 5-24-16
2" Exterior Screws
5 - 1x4 Boards (I used cedar but not a requirement.)
2 - 1x2 Boards
Heavy Mil Plastic Liners - (Optional)
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all board lengths are 8' (96") long.
8 - 1x4 Bottom Slats @ 12"
22 - 1x4 Side Slats @ 11"
4 - 1x2s Long Side Rails @ 28"
4 - 1x2 Short Side Rails x 13 1/2"
Garden Planter Box EndsNOTE: The cut list above has been updated to reflect board widths available in stores and lumber yards thus making the project easier for those with limited tools and know how. Simply gather the boards required at the store and hand the cut list to whoever is assisting you in the board cutting area.
The 1-5/8" measurement in the pictures below represents a more cost effective method as the rails can be cut from the 1x4s by simply ripping them in half. This lowers the overall cost of the project but requires additional tools. If you choose to go this route then simply omit the purchase of the 1x2s above.
Garden Planter Box Sides
Garden Planter Box Bottom
I did a previous video and blog post on a vertical garden planter. If you have not seen that video or read the blog post you can click here. A few questions came up more than once so I thought I would address them here in this blog post for this video and post.
I did not use glue. Their are a couple reasons I do not like to use glue for projects like this.
First, outdoor projects are going to be subjected to the harsh conditions of the outdoors. That means that whatever species of wood I choose to use, it is going to want to bend, swell, warp and repeat.
Moist conditions will swell wood. Dry conditions will shrink it.
It is going to want to move. Glue is more of a static conditioner. It holds pieces in one place not allowing for normal movement that a wood project will want to naturally do when exposed to the elements.
Using screws allows our cedar garden planter box to expand and contract, warp and sway as it needs to be able to do without prematurely over stressing the structural aspect of it.
The second reason is that I just do not like chemicals of any kind for a project that I plan to plant and harvest food from. I am not saying that glue would leach anything into the soil. In fact, I will say that I do not know if it would or not.
However, I am an error on the side of caution kind of guy, so as for me and my house, I have decided to not use glue for garden projects.
This same premise is why I do not line my garden projects with plastic.
I had a friend say to me once, "but it would last longer if you did line it." We had to agree to disagree because my thought was if water or moisture somehow gets between the lining and the wood then it would still show a propensity to mold and rot.
Plus the outside of the project is still exposed to the elements and as I stated earlier, I do not like chemicals around my food so I am not going to apply any wood protective chemicals.
I have learned to be happy with how long wood lasts outside on its own. When it is no longer able to perform its original task, then its wood chips will make great mulch for my garden beds.
Happy DIY'ing and gardening!