How to build raised planter boxes

Updated February 21, 2017

Raised planter boxes can take many shapes, sizes, and purposes. They can be made to sit on the ground near cultivated gardens or they can be built on legs if you do not have the room for a traditional garden plot. Wherever they are placed and however they are utilised, building raised planter boxes is simple, cost-effective, and yields results from the first season. This how-to article will focus on building a ground-level planter box.

Select the size(s) of the planter box(es) you would like to build and the materials you will use to build them. For this example, two boxes measuring 10 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 12 inches deep will be built.

Any species of 2 by 12 lumber can be purchased in many lengths, so purchase the lengths that will produce the smallest amount of waste for your project. If needed, cut four pieces of lumber, 10-feet each, and four pieces of lumber, 3-feet each, using a circular saw.

Butt the ends of the ten-foot pieces up to the sides of the three-foot pieces and attach using Simpson Strong-tie corner brackets, galvanised screws, and a drill.

Place the frames in their permanent home. Then, using a hammer or a light sledge hammer, pound two 2-foot wooden stakes into the ground to hold the frames into place. Sink the stakes into the ground so the top of the stake is 3-inches below the top edge of the frame. Use two galvanised screws to secure the stakes to the sides of the frame.

Cut a piece of chicken wire to fit in the bottom of each frame. This will help prevent ground rodents and other pests from eating the roots of your plantings.

Mix together equal parts or peat moss, top soil, and manure using a wheel barrow and a shovel or a cement mixer. Fill the frames with the mixture and apply water to help the mixture to settle. Refill as needed and until the mixture has fully settled.

Prepare the box for planting and add starts or seeds, fertilise, and then water.


Use your imagination and think of new a different ways of using raised planter boxes.


Use personal protective equipment while handling hand and power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 by 12 redwood, cedar, or pressure-treated lumber
  • Simpson Strong-Tie corner brackets
  • 1 1/4-inch and 2-inch galvanised screws
  • 2-foot wooden stakes
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer or a light sledge hammer
  • Roll of chicken wire
  • Equal parts of peat moss, top soil, and manure
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About the Author

Josh surprisingly found himself as an English Literature major one day after planning on becoming a doctor for most of his life. He graduated with a BS from Utah Valley University in April 2003.