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Home » Gardening » What Makes a Good Planter Box?

What Makes a Good Planter Box?

What Makes a Good Planter Box?

Are you thinking about adding more plants to your yard, but you don’t have the flowerbed space? Consider building a few planters for your new flowers and shrubs. A planter box is easy to make, with minimal DIY skills required. Learn what makes a good planter box and follow these tips to build a stylish and effective planter box yourself.

What Makes a Good Planter Box?

Sizing Your Planter Box

Planter boxes come in various shapes and sizes. Therefore, consider the space required in your planning when sizing it for your garden. Planter box boards should be five to ten inches wide to give the space for plants to grow and enough space to establish a robust root network.

Measure the space where you want to build the planter box and use the measurements to plan the box’s front, rear, and side panels. You don’t have to use a bottom board for the box if you don’t mind the roots growing into the ground. If you’re placing the raised garden planter box on the patio, you’ll need a bottom board for the box.

Use the Right Lumber

Choosing the right type of wood for the project is essential to the final look and utility of the planter box. If you’re using wood, you’ll need pre-treated lumber, or you’ll have to treat it yourself before filling it with soil. Using untreated wood will result in wood rot.

Composite or pressure-treated boards are the best option for your outdoor planters. They have a chemical treatment that’s resistant to termite and mold infestations. They’re also waterproof, preventing the saturation of the boards. However, avoid using pressure-treated boards if you’re using the planter to grow vegetables.

White oak, redwood, and cedar planter boxes are the best options as they are naturally weather-resistant to mold. These woods also resist pests. However, you can expect to pay more for these boards.

Lining the Garden Box

If you’re using untreated wood, you’ll need to line the inside of the box to prevent saturation of the boards. Treat the boards with a coat of linseed oil and then fit thick black plastic to the interior. Avoid using clear plastic as it disintegrates after a season or two, exposing the wood planter boards to water and rot.

If you’re using an open bottom for the box, lay chicken wire in the base to prevent rodents from digging through to the roots. The wire works great and prevents them from accessing the planter and allows the roots to grow into the soil.

Ensure Adequate Drainage

The garden bed should have good drainage. If you’re using the open-bottom method, you don’t have to worry too much; just ensure the ground below the box drains well. For closed bottom designs, drill drainage holes in the base to allow for effective soil drainage and prevent waterlogging.

DIY Planter Box Tips

Sunlight is key: Ensure you position the planter box where it gets six to eight hours of direct sunlight.

Ensure proper drainage: Line the bottom of closed planter box designs with small pebbles to improve drainage. If the soil feels waterlogged, drill more holes in the box’s side panels to enhance drainage.

Create a unique look: Consider using reclaimed wood for your box build to create a rustic look.

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