How to Build a Vertical Herb (or Lettuce!) Planter
Love the taste of fresh herbs? This vertical herb planter lets you grow them all in one convenient place – right outside your door! With removable shelves that can be easily left off for taller growing spaces, this simple project can be completed before lunchtime. We chose to build ours out of naturally long-lasting cedar, which will weather to a beautiful rustic look. Cut the lumber yourself if you have some woodworking experience, or make it easy by having the boards pre-cut at your local home improvement store. To assemble our vertical herb planter, watch the video, scroll down for instructions, or download our printable PDF guide. To keep the harvest coming, be sure to regularly trim back the plants — and eat the cuttings, of course! Bonus: It’s also great for growing lettuces.
Attention, salad lovers! Skip the supermarket and grow your own fresh lettuces right here.
DETAILS: Estimated Time: 3 hours* * less if you have wood pre-cut
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Approximate Cost (not including plants): $300 if using cedar, $110 if using treated lumber
List of Materials:
1 – 1 x 2 x 8 board
1 – 1 x 4 x 8 board
2 – 1 x 6 x 8 boards
6 – 1 x 6 x 8 tongue & groove boards
2 – 1 x 8 x 8 boards
1 – 2 x 4 x 8 board
2 – 2 x 10 x 10 boards
1 ¼-inch deck screws (68)
2 ½-inch deck screws (18)
12 – 18 herb plants, depending on varieties (see tags for spacing requirements)
List of Tools:
miter saw or circular saw*
* or can have lumber pre-cut at home improvement store per dimensions in Parts List
Parts List (see Cutting Diagram below):
1 1/2 x 9 1/4 x 59 1/4
1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 23
Leg brace supports
3/4 x 3 1/2 x 19
3/4 x 1 1/2 x 5 1/2
5/8 x 5 1/2 x 50
3/4 x 5 1/2 x 33 1/2
1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 30 1/2
3/4 x 5 1/2 x 30 1/2
3/4 x 7 1/4 x 30 ½
Use this slideshow for step-by-step directions
Use the Parts List and Cutting Diagram as references for part dimensions. Cut the parts as needed for each step. If desired, apply a sealer to the bottoms and tops of the Legs to help keep moisture out.
Use the layout in Figure 1 to create the Legs (make four).
Position the top ends (only one miter cut) of the Legs flush as shown in Figure 2 and attach using 2 1/2-inch deck screws.
Use the layout in Figure 3 to create the Leg Braces.
Use the layout in Figure 4 to create the Leg Brace Supports.
Position the Leg Braces and Leg Brace Supports as shown in Figure 5 and attach using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.
Position the Leg Brace Assemblies as shown in Figure 6 and attach using 2 1/2-inch deck screws.
Flip the assemblies over as shown in Figure 7 and attach using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.
Use the layout in Figure 8 as a guide for positioning the Cleats on the left leg.
Use the layout in Figure 9 as a guide for positioning the Cleats on the right leg.
Attach them to the Legs as shown in Figure 10 using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.
Create a large panel with the Back Slats by inserting the tongue portion of one part into the groove portion of another as shown in Figure 11. Once in place, measure the width of the panel, and adjust the length of the Back Supports if needed to make sure they overlap the sides of the panel by 1 1/2 inches on each side.
Position the Back Supports as shown in Figure 12 and attach using 1 1/4-inch deck screws. Make sure that only one Back Support extends beyond the end of the Back Slats by 1 1/2 inches.
Position the Bottom Support as shown in Figure 13 and attach using 2 1/2-inch deck screws.
Position the Back Assembly with the Back Support that extends 1 1/2 inches beyond the end of the Back Slats flush against the bottom edge of the Bottom Support as shown in Figure 14 and attach using either 1 1/4-inch deck screws or 2 1/2-inch deck screws.
Position the Top Shelf as shown in Figure 15 and attach to the top Cleats using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.
Drill drain holes (at least 1/4-inch) in the Bottom Support, roughly in line with the joints of the Back Slats as shown in Figure 16.
Insert the Shelves resting on the Cleats as shown in Figure 17. (Do not attach them to the Cleats.) The grooves located at the joints of the Back Slats act as drainage channels for each segment.