Build This Easy DIY Self Watering Planter


Admittedly, a raised backyard mattress is already a good way to develop meals. It permits you to customise the soil mix and begin planting in a day.

Whereas with conventional in-ground gardening, it takes time to develop wealthy, well-draining soil that’s stuffed with natural matter. However the factor with gardening is, simply as your veggie patch is hitting its stride—proper round July—is concerning the time you would possibly wish to be on trip. And few issues will flip that inexperienced backyard black quicker than the mixture of sizzling solar and lack of water.

That’s why a self-watering planter is an ideal improve to a raised backyard mattress. With this DIY self-watering planter, food-safe plastic inserts from Backyard Provide Firm meter out the water simply because the fruit and veggies want hydration. And it does so with out fancy timers, sophisticated drip irrigation techniques, or perhaps a backyard hose.

The way it works: Two 22×22-inch inserts are buried beneath the vegetation to carry 10 gallons of water that wick up by the soil to the basis zone. A floating indicator provides you a visible cue to how full the insert is, so when to prime it off. And the fantastic thing about the system is you can go away the vegetation alone for not less than per week with out fretting, which is ideal for summer time trip or if you merely overlook to water.

DIY Self-Watering Planter

Illustrated plans of the self watering planter.

Doug Adams

We designed this good-looking, sturdy, self-watering raised backyard mattress to carry a pair of inserts that can present 44×22 inches of backyard with a beneficiant 14-inch depth that can assist all the pieces from shallowed rooted leafy greens to tomatoes that can thrive once they have the room to stretch out. The fill tube is tucked discreetly right into a nook and simply accessible to prime off with a backyard hose or watering can. A built-in storage cubby retains gardening necessities like fertilizer or pruners shut by.

You possibly can defend the look of the cedar by giving it a coat of food-safe oil or outdoor-rated milk paint, or let it climate to a silvery grey as now we have. The tapered furniture-like legs work to anchor the nook of a patio, deck, or the top of a driveway so you possibly can backyard anyplace the solar is strongest.

For an inventory of instruments, supplies, and the minimize checklist for this mission, scroll to the underside of this web page.

Steps for Constructing a Self-Watering Planter

Step 1: Construct the Field

Cutting the parts and assembling the frame of a DIY Self-Watering Planter.

Slicing the components of the planter (left) and assembling the body (proper).
Doug Adams

Reduce the components. The planter is actually three 2×6 cedar frames stacked on each other. Utilizing the Reduce Listing beneath as a information, trim all of the boards to the correct lengths with a round noticed and rafter sq..

Two of the frames can have the identical measurements, whereas the opposite one can have barely longer sides. If you stack them, alternate the butt-jointed ends.

Assemble the body. Add pilot holes to the 2×6 boards minimize to size to keep away from splitting the cedar. Drill by the edges of the boards into the top grain of the mating board to make the butt joint.

Squeeze out exterior-grade wooden glue (or development adhesive) onto one aspect of the joint earlier than fastening with 3 1/2-inch lengthy outdoor-rated screws designed to work with cedar. Repeat the method till you’ve assembled all three frames.

Step 2: Add the Cleats

Adding cleats to the self watering planter

Doug Adams

Mark the places. The 1x2s screwed to the within of the bottom body will act as cleats, supporting the self-watering inserts. To mark the cleat places, take away the highest two frames, and set the decrease one on spacer blocks not less than 2 inches tall. This ensures you’ll have entry to the drain plugs afterward.

With one self-watering planter inserted into the body, use a degree to switch its prime edge onto the within of the 2×6, and strike a line.

Then set a mix sq. to ¾ inch beneath that line, which represents the situation of the cleat’s prime, and switch that line across the body.

Set up the cleat. Add the second insert into the body and push it towards the primary one. Now use a velocity sq. to mark vertically the place the insert ends on the within of the body. The field might be longer than the mixed size of the self-watering inserts, leaving room for the storage cubby.

To search out the size of the lengthy cleats, trim a 1×2 board so it suits throughout the body. Relaxation it on prime of the inserts, with one finish tight into the nook.

Switch the vertical mark you made earlier on the 2×6 onto the cleat. Trim the cleat to suit with the round noticed, then use it as a template to mark the second lengthy cleat.

Take away the inserts. Drill pilot holes, add glue, after which connect these two cleats to the body utilizing the structure traces you made earlier utilizing 1 ¾-inch screws. Measure between these two cleats for the size of the brief one for the top, and set up it the identical means.

Step 3: Dimension Up the Cubby Wall

Size up the cubby wall

Doug Adams

Mark the heights. Take away the spacer blocks. Stack the field’s frames once more after which take a look at the match of the self-watering inserts by dropping them in and sliding them to 1 finish.

Utilizing the scrap 2×6 cuts left over from the body components, stand 4 boards, on finish, contained in the planter, preserving them tight to the sting of the insert.

Utilizing a degree, mark the tops of the 2x6s even with the highest of the field. Reduce the boards to size, then stand them again up contained in the planter.

Step 4: Assemble the Wall

Assembling the wall of the self-watering planter

Doug Adams

Reduce a size of 1×2 to the width of the wall to behave as a brace. Maintain the brace to the wall and mark the middle of every 2×6. Take away the wall components. Drill pilot holes by the brace on the pencil marks. Then, with the boards on the work floor, add glue, then screw the brace to the 2x6s just a few inches down from the highest edge utilizing 1 ¾-inch screws.

Now add two extra 1×2 cleats, this time to the aspect of the wall dealing with into the cubby and the top of the planter simply reverse the wall. Glue and screw these cleats flush to the underside fringe of the planter to assist the cubby ground you’ll add later.

Insert the assembled wall into the planter. Conserving the wall sq. to the­ body, mark the middle of the cubby wall onto the planter utilizing a rafter sq.. Drill pilot holes by the surface of the planter into the sting of the wall. Then drive 3 ½-inch fasteners to carry the wall in place.

Measure for the lengths of the 4 2x6s for the ground of the cubby then minimize and drop them into place.

Step 5: Add Trim

Adding trim with a nail gun

Doug Adams

Relaxation a strip of 1×4 on prime of the planter field, ensuring it’s flush with the within edge. Mark the general size, preserving in thoughts you need a fair reveal of about 2 inches on all sides of the field. Reduce, glue, and set up the trim utilizing 2-inch lengthy, stainless-steel 18-gauge nails. Repeat with the opposite lengthy edge. Then measure, mark, minimize, and infill the 2 brief ends, together with the highest of the cubby wall.

Step 6: Construct the Cubby Prime

Building the cubby top

Doug Adams

Reduce the components. Reduce a bit of ½-inch thick plywood to suit the cubby opening. Then trim three items of 1×4 to size for the highest and add glue to the sides to make a panel. Now add glue to 1 face of the plywood.

Assemble the highest. Clamp the boards collectively. Middle the plywood on the highest. Then connect the 2 layers utilizing ¾-inch screws. As soon as the glue has set, flip the highest over and fix the deal with.

Step 7: Reduce and Add the Legs

Cutting and adding the planter legs

Doug Adams

Add the taper. The planter is designed to be about 30 inches tall, which is a snug working peak. However you possibly can modify that based mostly on what you wish to develop. As an illustration, for those who don’t plan on rising tall vines, like tomatoes, you would add longer legs to make it simpler to have a tendency shorter veggies.

Reduce the 2×6 legs to size. Unfold a transparent epoxy to 1 finish of every leg, which prevents the wooden from wicking up moisture by the top grain. You may also use the identical epoxy to coat the top grain on the cubby lid. Set the legs apart to treatment.

As soon as the epoxy dries to the contact, mark the taper. Measure up from the epoxied finish of the leg to about 1 inch beneath the underside of the planter field, and strike a line. Then mark a second line about 1 ½ inches in from the aspect of the leg, down by the epoxyed finish. Join the 2 marks with a straight edge. Use a round noticed to chop alongside the road. Repeat on the remaining three legs.

Connect the legs. Flip the planter, so the highest trim is on the work floor. Place the legs on the corners, so they’re tight to the underside of the trim. Clamp the leg in place, then drill pilot holes for 4 screws. Lastly, connect the leg with structural screws. Repeat on the remaining three legs.

Step 8: Join the Inserts

Connect the inserts

Doug Adams

Flip the self-watering inserts the other way up so the tops are resting on the work floor, then slide them along with the barbed ends dealing with one another. Utilizing scissors, minimize the plastic tubing that comes with the inserts to size so it’s about 1/8 inch longer than the space between the barbed male drains. Add the provided plugs to the open finish on every insert.

Step 9: Add the Inserts

Adding the inserts

Doug Adams

Have a pal enable you carry the planter the place you’d prefer it to be positioned exterior. Slip the inserts into place on the cleats. Take away the highest from every insert and pour some water from a bucket or watering can into the pans to verify for leaks. Test the tubing and drain plugs for those who discover any water dripping down.

Every of the insert’s tops has a location for a fill tube, although we’ll solely be utilizing one. Listening to the situation of the round cut-out, which determines the situation of the fill tube, place the tops again onto the inserts. Take away the fill tube’s cut-out with a utility knife.

Slide the white fill tube indicator out of the clear plastic fill tube. Press the clear plastic fill tube into the outlet. Screw it so the cap is above the extent of the planter field. Relaxation the provided cedar spacer above the place the planters contact one another to stop soil from spilling by the gaps.

Step 10: Trim Fill Tube and Plant

Trim fill tube and plant

Doug Adams

Add soil to the planter field. Watch out to not dislodge the fill tube, which might ship soil into the pan beneath, or the cedar board resting on the inserts.

Water drain

Doug Adams

Fill with soil and add vegetation, then twist the fill tube till its opening is simply above the extent of the soil. Take away the cap. Insert the white fill tube indicator and press it down till you’re feeling it hit the underside of the pan beneath. Then minimize the indicator even with the highest of the fill tube. Exchange the cap.

When the insert is filled with water, the indicator tube floats up. Should you discover the extent of the indicator drops close to the soil, it’s time so as to add water.

Tip: On the finish of the season, be certain to empty out extra water. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry out the plugs on both finish of the planter.

What You Want For This Mission


Reduce checklist

  • 2×6 cedar body: 4 @ 52 inches lengthy
  • 2×6 cedar body: 4 @ 22 inches lengthy
  • 2×6 cedar body: two @ 49 inches lengthy
  • 2×6 cedar body: two @ 25 inches lengthy
  • 2×6 cedar cubby wall: 4 @ 16 ½ inches
  • 1×2 cedar brace: one @ 21 inches
  • 1×2 cedar cleat: two @ 44 inches lengthy
  • 1×2 cedar cleat: two @ 20 ½ inches lengthy
  • 1×2 cedar cleat for cubby: two @ 22 inches lengthy
  • 1×4 cedar trim: two @ 59 inches lengthy
  • 1×4 cedar trim: two @ 22 inches lengthy
  • 1/2-inch plywood: one @ 6 ½ x 22 inches
  • 1×4 cedar boards for cubby prime: three @ 25 ¾ inches lengthy
  • 2×6 cedar legs: 4 @ 29 inches lengthy



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