How to Build a Landscape Timber Planter Box


Landscape timbers have a multitude of gardening uses, but veteran backyard gardeners know how handy they are for creating a planter box to fill a gap in your landscaping. They can look rustic and can be the perfect place from which to perch a big display of impatiens or, if placed in the shade, a great home for hostas. While the wood won't last forever, building a landscape timber planter box won't cost you more than $30 or $40 and typically can be done in about 90 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • 15 landscape timbers, 6 inches by 6 inches by 8 feet
  • Protective eyewear
  • Chainsaw
  • Shovel
  • Hammer
  • Box of 12-inch galvanized landscaping nails
  • Measuring tape
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • 3 bags of potting soil, 40 pounds each
  • Identify where you intend to locate your planter box. Position the 15 landscaping timbers nearby. These timbers will create a planter 2 feet tall, 8 feet long and 4 feet wide.

  • Put on protective eyewear. Use your chainsaw to cut five of the timbers in half to be used as sides for your planter.

  • Use your shovel to excavate a 6-inch trench along the perimeter of your planter. Put one of the 8-foot timbers in the newly dug hole in the front of your planter space and one 8-foot timber in the back. Then take two of the 4-foot pieces of timber you cut with the chainsaw and place them on both ends of the planter.

  • Secure the timbers to the ground by driving 12-inch galvanized landscaping nails through the timbers every 2 feet. Proceed with placing the next four layers of timbers on top of one another, laying the longer pieces of wood in the front and back and the shorter ones on each side. Nail each layer to the timber below in 2-foot intervals.

  • Measure an 8-by-6-foot piece of landscaping fabric and cut it with scissors or a utility knife. Place the fabric in the bottom of the planter. Then dump the bags of potting soil inside.

Tips & Warnings

  • When nailing, alternate locations so that you don't drive a nail into the head of a nail on a lower level of timber.
  • Always wear goggles while running your chainsaw to protect your eyes from wood splinters and sawdust.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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