Today’s raised planter bed post is by my good friend (I’ve actually met her in real life!) Missy! Missy writes a great blog, make sure you check her out after you check out her planter beds!
Hello everyone, I am Missy from My Cottage Charm and I’m doing a guest post for Gail today. I was so excited when Gail asked me if I would would do a post for her! She’s a great gal and this is an honor. Thanks Gail!
I’d like to tell you a little bit about my blog before we get started with the tutorial on the raised planter beds. My Cottage Charm is my little place in the world to tell you how to decorate on a budget, how to build wonderful things for your home (and yes, power tools are involved..they’re your friends!), and sometimes I even share a few things about what’s going on in my life.
Here are a few of my favorite things from my blog…. Garage sale $5.00 Chandelier:
How to make raised planter beds
If you’d like to see more of my favorite posts and follow along to see what else I’m doing, go HERE! (but not until you read how to make these fabulous raised planter beds!) lol Now let’s get busy building some raised planter beds! When we moved into our home, I soon discovered our back yard is pretty much one big rock pile, so I decided raised beds would be our best bet for pretty flowers and vegetables. (see, just look at all those rocks we dug out!) YIKES!
Decide on planter size
I started off by measuring how big I wanted our beds to be. A good rule of thumb is not to make them any wider than 4 feet so you can reach in and work in the middle without having to climb into the beds. (I didn’t follow that rule, cause I don’t mind getting a little dirt on my feet) 🙂 Cedar wood was used for our project because it’s very rot resistant and we live in KY and get loads of rain and snow! I bought 1 x 10 cedar boards (which means 1” thick, by 10” wide) at my local home improvement store and began by laying them out where I wanted my planters to go, like this…….
Design your project
(the rocks in this pic were from a rock wall planter that was already here…no doubt they dug the rocks out of the yard! lol….but we hauled them off.) After I had all our boards laid out, I begin to assemble them. (you’ll determine your own size beds, that’s why I’m not giving you specific dimensions here) First I screwed the two pieces of wood together from the side, then inserted a little piece of triangular shaped wood I cut out, and screwed into that too. It’s for extra stability.
Make sure corners are square
You can check to make sure the corners are square by putting a square (pictured below) on the outside corner and make sure there aren’t any gaps. If there are, you just adjust until it’s nice and square. Or you can also measure from one corner of your planter, to the other corner diagonally, then do the same thing the other way, until the measurements are the same. This will also help you make sure it’s nice and square. One stretch of my raised bed was going to be over 20 feet, so I had to splice two pieces together because the boards didn’t come in pieces that long. I just took a scrap of wood 4” wide, and put it in the center where the two boards were going to go together and screwed them to one another like this…..
Join two boards
That splice will later become a pretty little “column” detail on the finished piece. I added another scrap to the back for extra stability like this……..
On the outside corners I took some more scrap cedar and built some more “column” details. I wanted the columns to be 4” wide, so I cut one board (the one on the left) at 4”, but made the second one (on the right) 3” because I had to take the 1” thickness of the other board into account. So if you measure either way on the outside corner, it comes up to 4” wide columns.
In this picture, you can see where I just cut little 6” square blocks of wood and capped off the little column detail.
Trim out raised planter beds
Here’s the center column where I spliced the two 10 foot boards together to get our 20 foot bed. I also installed a little cap on this column too….. I did the caps on all the corners of the planters.
Cap off the joints
I then painted all the raised planter beds with primer and a good exterior semi gloss paint to help protect the cedar even more. By the way, cedar has a smooth side and a rough side, I used the smooth side on the outside of the boxes.
Paint Raised Planter Beds
To anchor the beds in place, I used some scrap pieces of wood and cut a point on one end like an arrow, and pounded then into the ground on the inside edge of the planter. Then I screwed the planter sides to the anchors. You can see the tops of the anchor pieces of wood in the picture below. After I had them all anchored down, I put down a THICK layer of newspapers, (or you could use landscaping fabric) to kill the grass and put in a mixture of topsoil and compost I got from my local nursery. Then you’re all ready to plant! This project wasn’t hard at all, just a little time consuming. I think it took a couple of days to build three large planters….not too bad!
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial on how to make raised planter beds, I know I’ve enjoyed being here today! Thanks again Gail for having me!
Thanks so much Missy for filling in for me. Great tute! See more garden ideas here.