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How to make deck planters

Updated February 21, 2017

Build a wooden deck planter to extend a touch to garden to the area. Whether sitting by yourself or entertaining guests, a planter filled with brightly coloured annuals, perennials or biennials enhances the appeal of the deck and livens up the space with natural colour. Although easily available in home department stores in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, constructing one is a straightforward process that can be cheaper and allows you to customise it to our taste.

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  1. Measure the selected spot on the deck where you want to place the planter to decide the dimensions accordingly. Visualise how the prepared planter will look on the spot. Depending on the available space and personal taste, build a rectangular planter or a square one that complements the surrounding.

  2. Saw five lengths of wood to form the desired planter. For a rectangular planter, cut two identical long sides, two identical ends and a base that matches the length of the long pieces but is as wide as the ends. For a square planter keep all sides identical.

  3. Drill randomly spaced or equidistant rows of drainage holes over the base piece. These holes assist drainage, so keep them between 1.2 and 1.8 cm (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch) wide to allow excess water to flow through but not any potting soil.

  4. Attach the sides to the base. Lay the base piece of the worktable and position the long, lower edge of a long piece flush against one of its long edges. Align the joint so it is flush and drill a row of 5 cm (2 inch) wood screws, spaced 10 cm (4 inches) apart. The screws penetrate both the wood pieces to join them together.

  5. Position the lower edge of an end piece flush against one of the short edges of the base to install the planter's side. Align the joint so the tops of both lengths are at the same level. Drill three wood screws into the lower edge of the side piece so it joins the base piece, and another three wood screws into its side to join it to the short edge of the previously installed length.

  6. Install the remaining two pieces, the long piece and the short piece, the same way to complete assembling the four sides.

  7. Inspect the joints of the deck planter to make sure they are sturdy. Drill an additional screw or two if needed for added stability. Depending on personal taste, spray paint the planter in a bright colour so it stands out, add a wood stain, or apply a coat of polyurethene over it for a natural finish. Let it dry thoroughly.

  8. Tip

    Keep the planter between 30 to 90 cm (1 to 3 feet) wide and 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) high. For added height, hammer a wooden block on each corner of the base. Spread a layer of mesh screening over the base of the planter before filling it with potting soil.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 5 wooden boards
  • Handsaw
  • Drilling machine
  • Wood screws
  • Spray paint or primer

About the Author

Tanya Khan

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. She has a Master of Business Administration in marketing but her passion lies in writing.

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