Monday, May 13, 2013

Cheap and Easy Cedar Fence Board Planters

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Have you got a bare spot you want to gussy up?
My back deck rails were less than pretty and I want to see cascading flowers when I look out my kitchen window.  (pretend the flowers are all filled in and cascading down hiding a good portion of the pickets and the view of the neighbors back roof)

My fix…. cheapo DIY planters made from cedar fence boards.

1.  Buy some cedar fence boards, I went with two 6 inch wide x 6 feet long and one 8 inch wide, and some scrap wood to make the ends.  (note: They are called 6 inch and 8 inch wide but in actuality they are 5.5 and 7.5 inches wide)

DIY fence board planters1 The 6 inch boards $2+ and the 8 inch were $3.50+

2. Square off the dog eared end and dry fit the boards.  Fence boards are willy nilly and do not always match in width or length.  So you have to make them match with your trusty tape measure and saw.

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Or just line them up and then view and mark how much to cut off.

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3. I put the end piece on first, used just scrap pieces of wood I had on hand.  I applied wood glue before nailing.  Actually this is a photo of me putting on the last side but it does show my end piece is just scrap and the generosity of Titebond glue. Smile 

 I started out with my brad nailer but it jammed so I fell back on a good ol’ hammer and finish nails.  A wee bit slower but still quite effective.

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4.  Screw to deck rail so the pesky raccoons will not knock your wonderfully roomy planter to the ground below.  Here I am letting the glue dry before filling.  Be sure to drill holds for proper drainage, I drilled mine towards the back of the planter where it hangs off the deck rail.

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5.  I gave them 24 hours to dry then I had fun planting them up.  I left them unpainted or stained, I want these to weather naturally to a soft grey, that will not take long at all.

6. Mix up some coconut coir into your potting mix for added water retention.  It is natural, sustainable and easy to work with. You can purchase Coconut Coir in bales or bricks, a little goes a LOOOONG way as it is compressed. 


First I must soak the coconut coir for a good few hours, make sure you have plenty of room in your bucket, this stuff really expands as it soaks up the water.  I mix it maybe a quarter or third of coconut coir to 3/4 or 2/3 potting mix. 


7. Fill you fantabulous planters with the potting/coconut coir mix and plant all your cascading flowers, give them room to fill in. 

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We have Purple Wave Petunias, Trailing Lobelia and a wee bit of white alyssum.   I will be sure to share once it is filled to overflowing with flowers. 

These were cheap and easy to make,  I had the wood glue and finish nails on hand, for a total on the rest of the supplies it may have ran me about $8 per planter and they are a good size to fit plenty of flowers, 6 feet long by 7.5 inches wide.  If you wanted you could also just slip in some 4 inch pots instead of putting the soil in the boxes.  The height of the sides is just right to hide the pots and you could easily change out the flowers is you wished.

So there you have it, quick and easy planters.

Now off to photo what is blooming this fine Monday morning in my garden.   I will share that tomorrow, I do hope.


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