How to Build a Portable Planter

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Thanks to casters and a built-in handle, this roomy portable planter can be moved around your driveway or deck to take advantage of anywhere you have sun and a bit of extra space. It’s perfect for growing greens and herbs, but the soil is also deep enough that plants that need more space, like peppers or broccoli, will thrive in it as well. What’s more, this great-looking planter can be painted or stained to complement the look of your home and landscape. For best results, use premium quality soil made specially for raised bed growing, such as Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil, and feed plants regularly with a continuous-release plant food like Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food. On this page, you’ll find a slideshow with instructions, a how-to video, and a link to download a printable PDF guide. If you have tools and experience, feel free to cut the lumber yourself. If not, when you purchase it, ask the folks at your local home improvement store to cut it for you.

Estimated time: 2.5 hours (less if you have wood pre-cut)

Project difficulty: Easy

List of tools

  • Miter saw or circular saw*
  • Drill/driver with #10 countersink bit and 1½” spade or Forstner bit
  • Staple gun
  • Clamps
  • Square
  • Measuring tape

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

List of materials

  • 7 – 1’ x 4’ x 8’ boards
  • 1 – 2’ x 2’ x 8’ board
  • 7 – 2’ x 4’ x 8’ boards
  • 2 – 2’ x 6’ x 8’ boards
  • ¾” galvanized staples
  • 1¼” deck screws
  • 1¼”washer-head lath screws
  • 2½” deck screws
  • 3” deck screws
  • 4 – 2½”heavy-duty lockable swivel casters
  • Galvanized hardware cloth
  • Landscaping cloth
  • 6 bags of Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil
Portable Planter: close-up of handle
With a sturdy wooden handle running the length of one side, this planter was made for moving.
Portable Planter: caster close-up
The casters on this planter make it easy to move your plants to whatever sunny spot is most convenient for you.

Parts list (see Cutting Diagram below)


Post rails21½ x 3½ x 39
Posts41½ x 3½ x 27⅛
Mid stretcher11½ x 3½ x 21½
Long stretchers21½ x 3½ x 36
Bottom short rails21½ x 3½ x 27½
End stretchers21½ x 3½ x 17½
Short bottom slats2¾ x 3½ x 36
Long bottom slats5¾ x 3½ x 39
Wide long rails21½ x 5½ x 39
Top long rails21½ x 3½ x 39
Mid long rails4¾ x 3½ x 39
Bottom long rails21½ x 3½ x 39
Handle supports21½ x 5½ x 35½
Handle11½ x 1½ x 39
Top short rails21½ x 3½ x 27½
Mid short rails4¾ x 3½ x 26

Finished Dimensions

  • Height: 31⅛”
  • Width: 42”
  • Length: 35½”

Sprinkle with Fertilizer

If you don’t want to go the manure route, try lightly applying an organic fertilizer like greensand, rock phosphate, kelp meal, bonemeal, or bloodmeal. When they aren’t overapplied, organic fertilizers like these release nutrients slowly over a period of several months. Adding them to the garden in fall gives them ample time to be transformed into materials that will be readily absorbed by eager spring roots.


Design by Chris Hill.