Herb Garden in Patio Table

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This easy table modification all started because we live in cow country and where you have cows, you have flies. They drive me crazy in the summer so I am always looking for ways to deter them. The other day I was at OSH and the sales lady said that most herbs are a natural fly repellent. That got me thinking  and this project was born. Now the jury is still out if this works on the flies but I love the end results anyway.

Time: 1 HoursCost: $20Difficulty: Easy
  • herb garden in patio table
This is the table I started with. We got it at Lowes a few years back and I still like it but the metal middle with the bent umbrella hole was a thorn in my side. Besides we have a covered patio so there is no need for an umbrella.

  • herb garden in patio table
  • herb garden in patio table
First things first, I had to remove the tiles. They just pop right out and what we are left with is the metal piece that is welded on to the frame.


  • herb garden in patio table
Out came the router tool with the grinder bit. I was looking forward to making some sparks but the hubs clearly wanted to help out so...

He cut all of the areas that the metal plate was welded to the frame. There were only about 8 places and he was done in a few minutes.


  • herb garden in patio table
Once the metal top was popped out, this is what we were left with. Now my original thought was a single 36" planter that would span the whole middle which means we would have to do more cutting, but then I started worrying about supporting a large planter and could I even find one that fit right and holy cow my head started spinning. I needed to readjust my plan and to simplify.



  • herb garden in patio table

Since each square was 12" x 12" why not use three 12" x 12" planters?!?
  • herb garden in patio table

I even had 1 on hand to test and hot diggity it fit perfectly. So off to my home away from home, Home Depot to pick up 2 more. Since they are only about $6, I grabbed some extras to have on hand.

  • herb garden in patio table

... and they fit perfectly. I mean they are completely secure and 100% supported. Its like they were made for this... I guess sometimes if you stop to listen the universe will provide.

Not to question the universe but I was still a little concerned about the weight once the soil was added. These planters are deep plus I need to address drainage since there are no holes. I usually add rocks in the bottom to allow for drainage space but clearly that wouldn't help my weight concern. I needed to add a light-weight filling to the bottom of the planters that would take up space without adding weight and address drainage...


  • herb garden in patio table
  • herb garden in patio table

...well hello old pool noodles. We always have them around for the pool and after a while they get a little worn and kind of gross so I repurposed their grossness as planter filler.



  • herb garden in patio table

Last thing was to plant the herbs and pop the tiles back in and ta-da!
  • herb garden in patio table
Here is the finished piece. What is great is that these planters are completely interchangeable. You can do flowers or succulents or any combination. We also saved the metal piece just in case we need to convert the table back for a party situation. It literally just pops back in.

Ill keep you all posted about whether it works for flies.


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