How to Plant a Garden in a Wood Container

Written by megan mattingly-arthur
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How to Plant a Garden in a Wood Container
A beautiful example of successful container gardening (recinzione image by Lorenzo Degiampietro from

Container gardening is a way for gardeners with space limitations or poor soils to still have gardens. Container gardens can be planted in wooden containers, but because wood is a porous natural material, care must be taken when choosing and planting your container to prevent the wood from rotting. With proper care, your container can last for many years.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wooden planting container
  • Drill
  • Landscaping gravel
  • Potting compost
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Garden hose
  • Shovel

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  1. 1

    Select a wooden planting container that is made of a water-resistant wood such as cedar or redwood. Other types of wooden planting containers can be used if they have been pressure-treated with a product like alkaline copper quaternary. Choose a wooden container with a minimum depth of 12 inches for a multiple-plant container garden.

  2. 2

    Drill four 1/4 inch drainage holes in the bottom of your wooden planting container.

  3. 3

    Add 2 inches of landscaping gravel to the bottom of the wooden planting container to prevent too much of the soil from being washed out through the drainage holes when the plants are watered.

  4. 4

    Mix equal parts potting compost, peat moss and perlite to use as the growing medium for your wooden container garden. Cover the landscaping gravel in the bottom of the wooden growing container with approximately six inches of the growing medium.

  5. 5

    Water the growing medium in the wooden planting container to settle the soil. Add approximately three more inches of growing medium to the wooden planting container once the soil has settled.

  6. 6

    Plant your flowers or vegetables in the wooden planting container at the same level they were planted in their nursery containers. Plant vegetable or flower seeds at the depth specified on the seed packet. Space the fruits and vegetables in your wooden container garden at least six to eight inches apart to allow adequate room for growth.

Tips and warnings

  • Top the growing medium in your wood container garden with two inches of natural mulch to help your flowers or vegetables conserve moisture.
  • Do not plant your garden in wooden containers treated with the chemicals creosote or pentachlorophenol, commonly known as Penta. Both creosote and pentachlorophenol can be lethal to your garden plants.

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