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DIY: Planting Your Garden Box

Did you read my post on building a redwood planter box? If so, you're already halfway done. You still need to anchor the box, level it, fill it with soil, and plant it. Read on for my list of suggestions on how to do it.

  • Move your box to the area you want to permanently place it. Since the area in my yard was on a slight incline, I had to dig the box in further on one side than on the other. In any case, you're going to want to dig a perimeter trench for the box, and then place it in the trench.
  • Use a level to make sure that your box is sitting evenly.
  • You can stand on the four corners and jump up and down a bit to make sure it's anchored well, too.
  • Now, break the soil that you dug out of the trenches and use it to stuff into the sides of the box to fill in any holes.
  • Then, use a pitchfork or shovel to dig up and turn over the grass and soil inside the box.
  • For the rest of the directions, just


  • Spread a layer of black and white (not colored) newspaper over the clods of dirt. This will suppress weed growth, and the newspaper will naturally decompose and enrich the soil.
  • If you have any compost that's pretty thoroughly decomposed, use it to cover the newspaper.

  • Next, cover the newspaper and compost with gardening soil. We hauled in four bags of Local Hero blend soil from American Soil in Richmond, which specializes in different soil mixtures for gardening and landscaping. If you're not sure how much soil you'll need, here's an easy way to estimate.

  • Smooth and level the soil.

  • Now you're ready to plant! I used a mixture of seeds and seedlings, and planted everything from a row of carrots to a a row of zinnias. I planted trellising plants, such as squashes and cucumbers, against the edge of the box. This way I can anchor a trellis outside of the box, which will give me more room for growing plants.

  • Enjoy!
whitnii whitnii 8 years
Your soil looks to only be about 6-8 inches thick? Is that enough soil in the box or should it be deeper? THANKS
browntexas browntexas 8 years
Cant' seem to find redwood board here in Austin. Options here include whiteboard, pine, cedar (3/4 inch width) or red oak--what is best? Also what is the width of the boards you use--is it one inch or two? Thanks.
SweetGeorgia SweetGeorgia 9 years
oh yes, and I forgot my squash.
SweetGeorgia SweetGeorgia 9 years
this looks so much more manageable than the last garden I sowed. about four times that size and all I got were dried out broccoli and a ton of tomatoes.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
loandro loandro 9 years
I think that this is one of the best ways to garden. The soil is always good, it takes up less space and uses much less water.
GigglyGirl GigglyGirl 9 years
This is going to be my weekend project. Thanks and good luck with your plants!
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 9 years
i'm so doing this. it looks awesome
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