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  • Hometalk Helper
  • Vineland, NJ

Vertical Herb Garden

3 Materials
$150
6 Hours
Medium

Last year, I spent a small fortune planting tomatoes and basil for my summer bruschetta. Between the birds and chipmunks, I yielded exactly 6 tomatoes, and my basil burned up in its overly sunny hotspot. Not what I had in mind! I will buy them this summer, thank you very much! This year, to satisfy my green(ish) thumb, I'm going with herbs. To get plenty of planting space, I'm building a vertical planter for my back deck.

vertical herb garden

I got to work cutting the lumber according to the plans, which were free online at:

https://bonnieplants.com/gardening/how-to-build-a-vertical-herb-planter/. (SEE LINK AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST)


I won't lie, this is not a cheap build, even with buying pressure treated instead of cedar. But...it's not much more than making decent raised beds to handle the same amount of plants.

vertical herb garden

Most of the cuts were straight but a few pieces required angles. With those, you have to take your time and pay close attention to the instructions or that planter will get a lot more expensive! (please ignore my shadow; it was really sunny out)

vertical herb garden

To help keep myself out of trouble, I printed the cut sheet and checked off the cuts as I made them. DO NOT CUT THE FRONT SUPPORT OR THE SHELVES YET!!!

ALSO, I made my shelves out of 1x10s, not 1x8s.

I'm not going to walk you through every single step since the plans are pretty clear, but I do want to point out the tricky steps so you can avoid the do-overs I had to do.

vertical herb garden

Here's my cut lumber all ready for assembly.

vertical herb garden

When setting up your legs, there are several things to pay attention to...1) use something straight to but the tops up to, and 2) determine your best sides for the outside surfaces. Look closely at the photo in the plans and lay out your boards accordingly.

vertical herb garden

When making the leg braces, look carefully at the diagrams in the plans. Be sure you have the angles going in the right direction.

vertical herb garden

Before jumping ahead, stand your leg pieces up to be sure everything is as it should be.

vertical herb garden

The cleats are a pain!!! Measure carefully to be sure everything is right. If I ever make another one of these, I am going to make a paper template for cleat placement! Be sur to drill pilot holes to prevent splitting the wood.

vertical herb garden

Once all the cleats are in place, hold the sides together to make sure it all lines up. Make any necessary adjustments.

vertical herb garden

Don't just look at the diagrams in the plans...READ THE DIRE TIONS!!! I have more holes in the back of this panel than necessary because I made assumptions. Also, whe putting together the tongue and groove pieces, tap the in place with a rubber mallet.

vertical herb garden

Here is why you dont want to cut the front support until after you have made the back panel...the length of the support must be the same as the width of the tongue and groove panel or it won't fit properly.

Another important thing is to screw in the back panel on one top corner and the opposite bottom corner. Lift the whole thing up into a standing position, get it to stand without wobbling, and then screw in the rest of the boards.

vertical herb garden

Dont forget to make the drain holes in the front support. I used a paddle bit.

vertical herb garden

Lastly, measure and cut your shelves to size. Slide them into place and you're ready for planting.

vertical herb garden

It's now mid-May and time for planting. Here's the planter, stained planted, and smelling so fragrant! Can't wait to harvest!

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To see more: https://bonnieplants.com/gardening/how-to-build-a-vertical-herb-planter/

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Joy Ballinger
    on Apr 9, 2019

    Is it safe to eat something grown in soil, in treated lumber?

    • A
      on Apr 9, 2019

      I had the same concern and after some careful exploration, I determined that it is safe. The chemicals used today are not like the ones used in previous years. Also, I read that a coat of penetrating oil-based stain provides an excellent barrier. After posting this project, I used just that to stain the planter. Also, the back panel and the shelf boards are not pressure treated on my unit, so there is very little contact with the soil and pressure treated lumber. Great question.

Join the conversation

3 of 5 comments
  • William
    on Apr 1, 2019

    It looks amazing. May have been expensive to build but the yield you will get in one season will offset the cost. And it looks like it should last forever. Great share and great job.

  • Marilyn Hull-parkes
    on Apr 10, 2019

    This is fabulous, love the chunky wood, I`m thinking of trying a smaller version

    • A
      on Apr 10, 2019

      Let me know how you scale it back. Sounds like a good idea.

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