Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DIY Standing Herb Garden

Here's what you need plus I needed to buy another 1 lb box of exterior screws, about 2 more cans of spray paint and some brackets with screws to screw down the raised garden.

A couple side notes:  I had my father-in-law bring his saw horses as a second pair and also his drill and circular saw as Lowes wouldn't make all the cuts for me at the store.
The plywood which is the largest and heaviest was cut to the size I needed at Lowes which saved a ton of time.

The lumber for the "Table" part of my planter is Treated Lumber as it will be outside in the elements, and the actual raised garden bed on top of the table is cedar. You can make it all out of cedar but this will double and even triple the cost.  I painted the treated lumber with an exterior textured spray paint and before I place soil in the raised garden I will staple down a landscaping fabric on the bottom and up the sides so the soil will not be in contact with the pressure treated lumber as some say the lumber could leave traces of chemicals in the soil. You can use an untreated lumber but you must use a waterproofing sealer like Thompson's on everything before building.

Also this is a very heavy item once put together, you should build it as close to where you want it as possible and expect to have 2 or 4 people help you with moving it into place.  Since it's treated lumber the "Table" all put together weighs about 350 - 400lbs.

Parts list:

For the Table:

  • 4x4x6 treated post -     Qty (2)  - Cut into 4 2ft - 9in posts
  • 4x8 treated plywood -   Qty (1) - Cut into 1 3x8
  • 2x6x8 treated lumber - Qty (7) - Cut into 47ft - 8in (for sides)
  •                                                       Cut into 4 3ft (for ends)
  •                                                       Cut into 2 2ft 8in (for inner supports)

Two 1 lb boxes of galvanized exterior self starting screws (2-1/4 inch.) They may cost a bit more but well worth it.  We pre-drilled all our holes as not to split the wood. 

For the Raised Garden Bed:
  • 4x4x8 cedar post -        Qty (1) - Cut into 4 12in posts
  • 1x6x8 cedar boards -    Qty (6) - Cut into 4 6ft
  •                                                       Cut into 4 3ft
We used the same screws, and I bought 6 corner braces with small screws to screw down the cedar bed to the plywood so it won't move once the soil is put in.

The table was made a foot longer on each side per my wife's request so she could have someplace to set her gardening basket when tending the herbs, which is a really good idea.

These measurements fit my space, if you have different measurements you can use this same basic design with your measurements.

Build time was about 3 hours and total cost after everything was right at $250...You might think this is a lot for an herb garden but this can also be used as a work table if you want to take the raised garden off after the growing season. Plus this thing is built solid.

I have detailed plans if needed and if you have any questions please comment or email us.

Now for the Build:

My advice is to cut all the pieces you need and pre-drill two holes in the end of all the side and end boards.

To put together the sides place one of the 2ft - 9in cut treated post on each of your saw horses.  Place one of your 7ft - 8in treated boards on top of the post as shown below and make sure it is square and even on both ends and put two screws on each board end. Place the second side board right against the other one and repeat. You now have a sturdy side for the table.  Repeat this process for the other side.

The next step is where you most likely will need more saw horses or people to help, When adding the ends the same way you did the sides you should do it with the table upside down to make it easier to square up.
Place both legs standing upside down like the above picture, place them 3ft apart as this is the width of the ends. Take your 3ft treated boards and place one on the bottom making sure to square it up with the sides.  Make sure you square it up to the side and not the posts so you will have a square box with smooth corners.  You will however screw the ends into the posts. Repeat for the second end board and then repeat on the opposite end. (make sure to check that everything is square and level before you finish screwing in the last end.  When done you can flip the table over and place and level where you would like it.

Because of the size and weight of the plywood I wanted to add some extra middle braces.  Take your 2ft-8in treated boards and space them evenly apart and screw in from the sides.

Now add the plywood and make sure it's all squared and start screwing around the edges. I put a screw about every 6in's. To screw into the middle braces, just find where you put the screws on the outside sides and use that as a guide as where to screw in the middle.

The cedar raised garden is made just like the table, and is even easier as you can make it right on top of the table you just built.  Just start with the sides, then the ends. Once you have the raised garden made and lined up where you want it, use the corner braces and use on the inside of the raised garden ans screw to the plywood. The last step will be to drill holes into the plywood in the raised garden only about every 6 inches for drainage.

Here's my finished planter after it was painted, I also put a clear acrylic gloss spray sealer on the cedar.

I will add more pictures once we fill it with dirt and don't forget the landscaping fabric if you use treated lumber like I did. We will also be blogging about our herb and vegetable garden and their progress as the summer goes on so look for them.

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