I took an afternoon to build my wonderful mom a tall planter so she could have a vegetable garden on her deck. Gardens are known for endless hoeing and countless hours day in and day out bent over in back breaking work in the constant battle against weeds. Because we started with organic soil that we brought in we were already way ahead of any weeds or grasses that might try to take over our plants. (As opposed to tilling up a spot in our yard that would be chock full of thousands of different kinds of weeds and grass seeds) So far I can count on one hand the amount of minutes we’ve needed to weed this garden all year. The plan is for us to build several more and never garden any lower then counter height again!
You will need 2x4s and a piece of steel, my steel ended up 68 inches long and then I just wrapped it up on the inside of the frame I built. As for the frame you will need some decent screws, I used 3” outdoor deck screws.
I pounded about fifty holes in the bottom of the steel to create drainage and covered the edge of the steel with a second 2×4, essentially sandwiching the sharp steel between the 2×4 and the frame. In the future I would like to add a 1×4 to the top of the whole thing and cover up the “sandwich” situation but I didn’t have the material to do it at the time and no one seemed to notice or care. Of course, the raw edge bugs me.
If you’re wondering if the steel is strong enough to support all the dirt that will be in it the answer is a resounding yes. It is actually steel left over from our garage roof and it is incredibly durable. (I created the 2×4 sandwich because I wanted it extra tough.) The depth of the entire planter is about 2 feet and the piece of steel I had leftover was about 3 and ½ feet. I wanted to make sure it would be deep enough so my mom could grow onions and even carrots if she wanted to.
You can see I also raised the 2×4 frame around the bottom of the whole planter about an inch up the legs, so the only thing resting on her deck are the six 2×4 “feet” I figured the less wood actually sitting on her deck the better. Sorry I have no photos of “during” I was the only one doing this so I was the only one available to take pictures so, as usual, you get no pictures of me in action.
- four 2x4s at 72” (two at the top two at the bottom)
- six 2x4s at 37” (the legs)
- eight 2x4s at 24” (two at the top two at the bottom and two at either end to keep the dirt in)
- two 2x4s at 68” (for the inside to sandwich the steel)
Before we filled the planter with dirt we covered it with black weed fabric so our dirt wouldn’t plug our drainage holes. And there you have it! An easy to weed planter to grow just about anything!