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Making Raised Planters

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1 x 2.4 metre deck board
Plastic mesh
Heavy-duty weed fabric
4 x pop bottle caps
Nails, Screws, U-staples,




Tape Measure, Pencil, Saw,
Drill & drill bits, Screwdriver,
Scissors, Staple Gun, Hammer,
Nail punch, Soldering iron

Step 1

Measure and mark 2 x 22.5cm lengths on the deck board. Carefully cut the pieces with the saw. These form the short ends of the planter and should be cut to this length even if you use a different sized board.


Step 2

Measure and mark the halfway point of the remaining deck board. Cut the board in half using the saw. These form the long sides of the planter and will vary in length if using different sized timber.

Step 3

Mark and drill 3 holes at each end of both the long boards.


Step 4

Screw the long boards to the short boards to form a frame.


Step 5

Cut a piece of plastic mesh to fit the base of the frame. Attach the mesh in place with U-staples. This will prevent the base from sagging when the planter is filled with compost.


Step 6

Nail a plastic pop-bottle cap in each corner. These will act as feet, raising the planter above the ground and improving drainage.

Step 7

Turn over the frame, and line the inside with heavy-duty weed mat, securing it in place using a staple gun.

Step 8

Using a soldering iron, melt some holes in the weed mat to improve drainage. ONLY perform this step in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. Melting the holes rather than cutting them, will prevent the mat from fraying.

Step 9

If desired, drill 3 holes in one side of the planter to a depth of about 5cm. These allow canes to be slotted into place to support cordon tomatoes, cucumbers etc.



Most standard deck boards are thick enough to accommodate holes for metal or bamboo canes. If you are using thinner timber, it may not be possible to make sufficiently large holes without seriously weakening the structure.


Example 1

Three planters made from reclaimed deck boards.

Example 2

Planter with three cordon tomatoes, and metal canes inserted to provide support.

Example 3

Planters with metal support canes in my polytunnel.

Each planter is around the same size as a large grow-bag, containing roughly 30 litres of compost. They are ideal for use in a greenhouse or polytunnel with a solid floor. I have used them successfully to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, peppers and chillies. The planters would also be excellent on a patio or drive to grow salad crops, strawberries, flowers etc. If required, it would be simple to attach mesh or trellis to the canes to provide support for climbing plants like sweet peas.


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