Gardening

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)

 

Part Quantity Size
Post rails 2 1½ x 3½ x 39
Posts 4 1½ x 3½ x 27⅛
Mid stretcher 1 1½ x 3½ x 21½
Long stretchers 2 1½ x 3½ x 36
Bottom short rails 2 1½ x 3½ x 27½
End stretchers 2 1½ x 3½ x 17½
Short bottom slats 2 ¾ x 3½ x 36
Long bottom slats 5 ¾ x 3½ x 39
Wide long rails 2 1½ x 5½ x 39
Top long rails 2 1½ x 3½ x 39
Mid long rails 4 ¾ x 3½ x 39
Bottom long rails 2 1½ x 3½ x 39
Handle supports 2 1½ x 5½ x 35½
Handle 1 1½ x 1½ x 39
Top short rails 2 1½ x 3½ x 27½
Mid short rails 4 ¾ x 3½ x 26
  • portable-planter slide
    Use the parts list and cutting diagram as references for part dimensions. Cut the parts as needed for each step. Cut a 45-degree miter on both corners of one end of the handle supports, 1⅜” from the corners. Drill countersunk pilot holes for each screw.
  • portable-planter slide
    Position a post rail flush with the ends of two posts and attach using 3” deck screws, as shown in Figure 1. Repeat to create two assemblies.
  • portable-planter slide
    Center the mid stretcher between the two long stretchers, as shown in Figure 2, then attach using 3” deck screws.
  • portable-planter slide
    Position the mid stretcher-long stretcher assembly 6⅛” from the post rails, as shown in Figure 3, and attach using 3” deck screws.
  • portable-planter slide
    Position a bottom short rail on top of an end stretcher, as shown in Figure 4, and attach using 2½” deck screws. Repeat to create two assemblies.
  • portable-planter slide
    Position the end stretcher-bottom short rail assemblies on the posts, as shown in Figure 5, then attach using 2½” deck screws.
  • portable-planter slide
    Using a spade or Forstner bit, drill three to four 1½” drainage holes in each of the short bottom slats and long bottom slats. Position the slats as shown in Figure 6, and attach to the stretchers using 1¼” deck screws.
  • portable-planter slide
    Position the long rails in sequence, as shown in Figure 7, and attach to the posts using 3” deck screws for everything except the mid long rails; use 1¼” deck screws for those.
  • portable-planter slide
    Starting on one end, position and attach a handle support and top short rail using 2½” deck screws, and the mid short rails using 1¼” deck screws, as shown in Figure 8. Attach the handle to the handle support using a 3” deck screw. Repeat on the other side.
  • portable-planter slide
    Flip the assembly over and attach the casters to the post rails using 1¼” washer-head lath screws, as shown in Figure 9.
  • portable-planter slide
    Cut hardware cloth and landscaping fabric to fit the inside of the planter, as shown in Figure 10. Staple the hardware cloth, then staple the landscaping fabric on top. Fill with potting soil.

Finished Dimensions

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

Design by Chris Hill.