There are many benefits to having a raised planter, or several, in your garden, but how do you make one? In this guide we outline a simple way of making your own as well as some useful information and inspiration on raised outdoor planters for your outdoor space.
There are lots of things to consider before you make your own raised planter, such as location, shape, material and more. If you’re not sure about what look you’re going for, browse our 11 Stunning Planter Ideas guide for inspiration.
Why have a raised planter?
- Provides better drainage – moisture is not retained as much as in the ground, making it easier to control how much water your plants are getting.
- Can keep animals out – wildlife and pests are less likely to invade your plants.
- Less pressure on your knees/back – more accessible to everyone.
- Adds to your garden’s natural landscape – raised planters look fantastic in any garden and can be built around pre-existing structures and features.
- Controls weeds better – especially when using a protective layer between the ground and the bottom of your raised planter.
Where do I put my raised planter?
Finding the perfect location for your raised planter is step one, ideally your planter will need to receive at least a few hours of sunlight per day depending on what type of plants you’re considering housing inside.
What material should I use for my raised planter?
Building your own raised planter can be straightforward so long as you have access to the space, materials and tools you need. Before you start, you need to consider what material of planter will suit you and your outdoor space best.
- Cedar is a great option due to its rot/weather resistance as well as it being lighter in weight than other types of wood.
- Redwood is also rot resistant and will last a long time, but is a little bit more expensive.
- Cypress is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to work with and move around, resistant to fungi & insects.
- Concrete blocks/bricks are a great building material for a makeshift planter, blocks with holes provide with more planting space.
Tip: Try to avoid pressure treated wood/lumber especially if growing edible plants in your raised planter due to the chemicals used to treat it.
Materials and tools
Depending on what size you are planning to make your raised planter, you’ll need to figure out the measurements of each piece of wood. The simplest raised planter will need:
- At least 4 timbers/planks to create a box shape, using more depending on how high you want your raised planter to be
- Wooden off-cuts/posts to secure inner corners
- A saw to cut any extra wood
- Spirit level
- A rubber mallet
- A drill and some screws
How to build a raised planter
- Start by levelling out the ground where your planter will go, before laying out your materials, making sure they fit into the space before you start building.
- Screw the 4 (or more) planks together at each corner, making sure to keep them level and straight. Use a rubber mallet to align pieces more accurately.
- Add in the corner posts on each inner corner, screwing those into place as you go.
Fill your planter with good quality compost (and consider filling the base with rubble or gravel for even better drainage).
Caring for and planting in your new planter
Your new raised planter should last for years to come if looked after well. If the wood starts to rot, it can be relatively easy to replace planks when needed. Depending on what you’ve made your planter out of and where you’ve placed it, the care tips vary, read our guide on How to Care for your Planter to find out more.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to plants you can get in your new raised planter. From perennials to bedding plants and even bulbs. If flowers aren’t your thing, you can even start your own vegetable or herb patch in your planter.
Although raised planters have fantastic drainage so are great for managing exactly how much water your plants get, it is important to keep an eye on them during the hotter months to avoid them drying out. During summer it may be a good idea to invest in some kind of irrigation system such as the Big Drippa watering kit, to make watering easier to manage.