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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Build your own counter height garden box.

Two plants in!

To make your counter height garden you will need:

24 thread inserts http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Hex-Drive-Threaded-Insert-4KXU4?cm_sp=IO-_-Home-_-MPC&cm_vc=HPPVZ3
24- 1/4-20 , 2 inch bolts
24 washers
12 galvanized or brass 1 1.2 inch screws
All wood should be Cedar or Fir, it's too much work to make these to not use materials that will last for years.
2 4x4x8 cedar or fir posts cut into 32 inch lengths (I used Fir for these because it was cheaper and still would last a good long time.)
2- cedar 1x8x8 cut one into2-48 inch lengths and one into 2-24 inch lengths
2- cedar 1x3x8 cut into 6 or more 24 inch lengths
Galvanized hardware cloth 2 ft x at least 50 ft.

In the picture above is just so you can see me marking the 4x4 legs. I actually mark them in the standing position.
I cut all pieces out and assembled the bed using one pin nail on each side to hold together or clamp the two shorter ends together...I then used a hand drill to drill the three or two holes onto each side piece only going through the the side piece and only marking the legs or a Qtip with a bit of paint works well to mark the holes. The leg holes really need to be as straight as possible and at the depth you need to accommodate the length of your bolts. I used a drill press to make sure of the depth and that the holes are very straight to except the threads.
You can read the bit below for other info but I would definitely use the hand drill for marking the legs.
Drill your three holes in the 1x8 pieces then place them against the 4x4 pieces in the location they need to be(I set up all the pieces and number the legs and the boards and draw arrow for the top on the boards for later reference then using one pin nail on each side to hold it all together I mark where the holes will go on the legs) and using a center punch hammer into each hole marking the 4x4 so you can drill the corresponding holes. I used all 1/4-20 screws and I used E-Z LOK threaded inserts instead of drilling all the way through the 4x4. I made sure that I drilled the hole deep enough in the 4x4 so that when I inserted the thread and bolted the sides on I would be able to screw them on tight.

He is an image of the planter upside down with the 1x8 bolted into place

Attaching the hardware cloth. I made sure that when the planter was together that it was no more then 24 inch wide this way the hardware cloth would fit the width without me having to sew together or cutting down the width. I only had to cut the length because I purchase hardware wire that was 24 inches wide by 25 feet long. I can make 6 planters with this one roll of hardware wire.

close up of how staple the hardware cloth around the legs.

Once the hardware wire is stapled into place I need to add slats to the bottom so that the weight of the soil will not pull off the hardware cloth.

placing the slats equal distances apart and screwing into the bottom using two screws in each end of each slat.

The planter turned right side up

another close up

I used coconut cloth in the bottom however you could use newspaper, compost or anything that isn't harmful to the soil and your plants to keep the dirt in.

And this is how my garden grows.


  1. Dang! Impressive.
    Yep we need to get together and make a barn quilt or like in my case a Garage quilt.

    1. Yes, I think that would be fun project! I love wood working, wish I had a buddy that new tons of tricks to the trade!