Going outside

I mentioned in my last post that I would be working on something near Gina's desk, but instead took my next project outside. We had a raised garden bed on the ground a couple of years ago, but after having our yard completely re-done and building the desk, we didn't put it back in. I like the grass, and didn't want to rip it all up, so I wanted to building something completely elevated. After watching a few YouTube videos, I had my inspiration.


This was my first time ever building with cedar wood. Everything online suggests it's the best thing to use for a garden bed given it's natural rot resistance. It was definitely pricier than my recent plywood or 2x4 based projects, but it seems like it'll be worth it. The smell of cedar is refreshing when I allow myself to smell it without a mask on.


The first component to build is of course the least intensive. The legs are a 1x4 and a trimmed 1x4 butt-jointed to keep the same dimensions on either side. With all four legs built, I could assemble the short sides. The sides are just four horizontal planks screwed from the back. To ease the transition between boards that are warped or curved, I routed the edges with a very small round over. I tried to use a chamfer bit, but unfortunately it's about a quarter of an inch too big to fit in the router! The round over bit ended up working out just fine.

With both sides finished, time to work on the front and back. This was a bit harder since it spanned such a long distance (~5 ft). At this point it had a bit of a rock to it from warped boards, but that was essentially gone once the second long edge was affixed. The last step was to put the bottom in. I needed to use a thin strip secured to the bottom side board and screwed slats into that. The boards were roughly an 1/8 to a 1/4 of an inch apart to allow drainage.


Finally we could get it outside. I didn't take a picture (because it looked horrible), but we lined the planter with both plastic, to prevent leaching, and landscaping liner to keep the soil in. We mixed top soil and potting soil to keep the soil more akin to an in-ground bed versus a pot. The two plants in the center are bell peppers, hopefully we get some!


As always, this is the model picture I built off of. I originally intended to have a shelf on the bottom to help with stability and have extra space, but after building the rest of the planter, it seemed very stable and didn't need the bottom. Overall things went fairly according to plan. Now that the dust has settled in the basement, time to work on my original project!

Published on Jun 9, 2019
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