How to Build a Vertical Herb (or Lettuce!) Planter

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DIY Vertical Herb 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.

vertical planter with lettuce

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)
  • sealer (optional)
  • 12 – 18 herb plants, depending on varieties (see tags for spacing requirements)

List of Tools:

  • miter saw or circular saw*
  • drill/driver
  • clamps
  • square
  • measuring tape

* or can have lumber pre-cut at home improvement store per dimensions in Parts List

Parts List (see Cutting Diagram below):

Part Quantity Size
Legs 4 1 1/2 x 9 1/4 x 59 1/4
Leg braces 2 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 23
Leg brace supports 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 19
Cleats 14 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 5 1/2
Back slats 6 5/8 x 5 1/2 x 50
Back supports 3 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 33 1/2
Bottom support 1 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 30 1/2
Top shelf 1 3/4 x 5 1/2 x 30 1/2
Shelves 6 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 30 ½

Use this slideshow for step-by-step directions

Cutting Instructions
Cutting Instructions

Cutting Instructions

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.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 1
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 1

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 1

Use the layout in Figure 1 to create the Legs (make four).

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 2
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 2

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 2

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.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 3
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 3

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 3

Use the layout in Figure 3 to create the Leg Braces.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 4
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 4

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 4

Use the layout in Figure 4 to create the Leg Brace Supports.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 5
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 5

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 5

Position the Leg Braces and Leg Brace Supports as shown in Figure 5 and attach using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 6
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 6

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 6

Position the Leg Brace Assemblies as shown in Figure 6 and attach using 2 1/2-inch deck screws.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 7
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 7

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 7

Flip the assemblies over as shown in Figure 7 and attach using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 8
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 8

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 8

Use the layout in Figure 8 as a guide for positioning the Cleats on the left leg.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 9
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 9

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 9

Use the layout in Figure 9 as a guide for positioning the Cleats on the right leg.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 10
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 10

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 10

Attach them to the Legs as shown in Figure 10 using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 11
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 11

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 11

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.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 12
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 12

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 12

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.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 13
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 13

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 13

Position the Bottom Support as shown in Figure 13 and attach using 2 1/2-inch deck screws.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 14
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 14

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 14

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.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 15
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 15

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 15

Position the Top Shelf as shown in Figure 15 and attach to the top Cleats using 1 1/4-inch deck screws.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 16
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 16

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 16

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.

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 17
Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 17

Vertical Herb Planter - Figure 17

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.

Finished Dimensions:
Height: 55 1/2 inches
Width: 36 1/2 inches
Depth: 37 1/2 inches

Design by Chris Hill

3 thoughts on “How to Build a Vertical Herb (or Lettuce!) Planter

  1. Dear Sir, I thank you for this post. i have been homeless for a long while and now have a very tiny mobile home in Mi. I will be searching for reclaimed wood and am going to do this. thank you again, Sincerily, Karen Darby.

  2. I really like that !!! Will have to make. have a real nice place for the vertical herb planter. All in one place. Takes up less room also. :-)

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