Have you ever wondered how to get your kids to eat more vegetables? If you get them involved in growing their own plants, they tend to take a much bigger interest in eating their leafy greens. But before planting, you need to get a planter and fill it with dirt. To save money, why not build your own DIY Planter Box on wheels? You could even have kids help you, just like we did with a school that our kids go to. Follow this simple plan that I’ve made with step-by-step instructions on how to build it.
We were asked to build a project for two classes, so we decided to build a couple of planters that will allow them to grow their own vegetables. I pre-cut the boards and drilled the pocket holes at home. Then as a class, we assembled the planters together and filled them with dirt. It was a fun project to build as a class and to see kids get hands-on experience, building something out of wood.
Top Five Reasons to Build Planter Boxes
We are going to give you the top five reasons to install garden boxes into your next growing season.
Here’s the list:
- Garden boxes eliminate plowing
- Better drainage for plants
- Garden boxes look attractive
- They are easier on your joints
- Fewer weeds and critters
Alright, there’s the list. Let’s go into the specifics.
Garden Boxes Eliminate Plowing and Tilling the Soil
When planting directly into the earth, you spend a fair amount of time working the soil. Sometimes this requires fancy equipment, like a rototiller, to get the job done.
With a raised bed, the soil is easier to maintain and much less prone to becoming heavily compacted.
Raised Beds Provide Better Water Drainage for Plants
Remember what we said in the last section about garden box soil becoming less compact than in-ground soil? One of the benefits of this is the water’s ability to drain effectively.
Good drainage ensures your plants only get the water they need without drowning or developing root rot.
Garden Boxes Look Attractive
While in-ground gardens look beautiful when well maintained, a garden box looks great with minimal effort – you’ve got the walls of your garden keeping everything in line.
Even a simple garden box will look great; however, if you’re the creative sort, there are plenty of ways to decorate and enhance your garden’s look.
Because raised garden boxes look so nice, they are more likely to be accepted by your landlord if you want to have a garden while renting.
Raised Garden Boxes are Easy on Your Back
Bending over to weed a garden can be a lot of work. Perhaps you’ve been holding off on having a garden for this very reason. Well, your time has come.
You can raise the sides of your garden box as much as you’d like. And just like in this tutorial, you can construct your garden box with wheels, so the plants are always within easy reach.
You also might be interested in other planters that I’ve built such as DIY Gutter Planter (Pyramid), Flower Planter Box, and DIY Planter Container with Corrugated Steel.
Time to Complete
Download Printable Plans in PDF
Tools for this project
- 2x6x8′ (x12)
- 2x4x8′ (x3)
- Casters 4″ (x6)
- 2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
- 1 5/8″ Wood screws
- Plastic Sheeting
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Cut Bottom Boards of the Planter
When building a wood project for the outdoors, it’s important to use lumber that is suitable for moisture and outdoor weather. You don’t want the wood to disintegrate in a year or two and your work will go to waste.
For outdoor projects, it’s recommended to use pressure-treated lumber. This wood is treated with chemicals to protect from termites and extends the life of lumber. Some pressure-treated lumber has small incisions that were made during the treatment process to absorb the chemicals.
As you may already know that construction lumber is not the prettiest wood out there, because it is mostly used for framing inside the walls. So before cutting the boards, pick out the best looking boards for the sides and the ends of the planter box. And the rest of the uglier boards, use for the bottom section of the planter.
First, start with cutting the bottom pieces. Take pressure-treated 2x6s and cut four pieces to 89″ in length using a miter saw. Then set your Kreg Jig to 1 1/2″ wood thickness and drill pocket holes as shown in the picture. You would need two pocket holes on both ends of each board. Also, you will need pocket holes along the board about 14” apart.
Step 2 – Connect Bottom Board Together With Screws
Take the four bottom boards and place them on a flat surface. Then clamp the boards with a pipe clamp. Having the boards clamps together will prevent them from shifting when driving in the screws. Then secure the boards with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.
Step 3 – Cut and Attach Lower Section Side-Boards
The boards on the long side of the planter will overlap with the boards on the short ends of the box. This will make stronger corner connections and also ecstatically it looks much better.
Now that you have the bottom section of the planter complete, take 2×6 boards and cut two pieces to 89” in length. Inspect the boards and choose which side to drill the pocket holes. You want to have the prettier side on the outside and the pocket holes will go on the uglier side.
After drilling the pocket holes, attach these side-boards to the bottom of the planter with 2 1/2″ pocket holes screws.
Step 4 – Attach Lower Section End-Boards
Take your measuring tape and pull a measurement to cut the end-boards. In the perfect world, the measurement from side to side would be 25″. But sometimes the pressure treated boards are slightly wider than 1 ½” and that will change the overall length. So you might have to cut two end-boards to 25 1/4″ in length instead of 25″.
These two lower end-boards do not require any pocket holes since you already have them drilled on the bottom and the side-boards. Use 2 1/2″ pocket holes screws to connect the pieces.
Step 5 – Cut and Install Middle Section Side and End-Boards
Similar to step-4, you’ll need to check the measurements before making any cuts.
In step 3 the lower side-boards were 89″ long. Now the middle section side-boards need to be longer to overlap the end-boards. Cut two pieces to 92″ in length (your measurement might be 92 1/4″), and two pieces to 22″ in length.
Drill pocket holes as shown in the picture and on the cut list. Then attach both the side and end pieces to the planter box with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.
Step 6 – Install Upper Section of the Planter Box
The upper section of the planter box is very similar to the lower section. Cut two boards to 89″ in length and two boards to 25″ in length. Drill pocket holes as shown in the picture. Attach both side and end-bards using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.
Step 7 – Cut Top Trim-Boards for the Top of Planter Box
The top trim of the planter is built like a picture frame. Take two 96″ long 2×4 boards and cut off the ends at 45 degrees. Then cut two more pieces to 29″ in length with a 45-degree miter cut on both ends. Then drill two pocket holes on each end of the 29″ boards. Attach these pieces together as shown in the picture. Make sure that the corners are squared to 90-degrees.
Step 8 – Install Top Trim Boards
Place the trim on top of the planter box with pocket holes facing down and secure it with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.
Step 9 – Drill Holes Through the Bottom for Water Drainage
The bottom of the planter needs to have holes for the water to drain down. Flip the planter upside down, then take a 1/2″ drill bit and randomly drill a bunch of holes through the bottom boards. Make sure not to hit the pocket hole screws that hold the bottom boards together.
Step 10 – Install Casters
This step is optional. If you have a permanent location for the planter and you don’t want to move it around, then you could skip this step.
If you do decide to use casters, you need to install heavy-duty metal wheels to support the weight of the planter and the dirt inside.
Take 4″ metal swivel casters and attach them to the bottom of the planter box with 1 5/8″ wood screws. You would need to put two screws into each hole of the caster plate. Because this planter is so long, you would need a total of 6 casters. The middle casters will prevent the planter from sagging down over time.
Step 11 – Cover Inside with Plastic
Then take black plastic sheeting and cover the inside of the planter box. This sheeting will protect the wood rotting and extend the life of the planter box. Use a staple gun to staple the sheeting to the wood. Cut off extra material with scissors.
Use a long nail to poke through the holes and the sheeting on the bottom of the planter. You don’t have to have large holes for water to drain.
Step 12 – Fill the Planter Box with Dirt
You are done with a DIY planter box on wheels. Now you could fill it up with dirt and plant your plants.
11 thoughts on “How to Build a DIY Planter Box on Wheels”
My husband and I built a 4 x 8 raised bed 4 feet high for a couple who are handicapped it came out really good but I do like your idea even better thank you
Thank you Judy!
What kind of vegetables can I grow. I like your idea better than my.
Hi Kathie, You could grow any vegetable plans you want.
Do not use pressure treated wood for a garden as the toxic chemicals used to treat the wood will leach into the soil over time. Use Cedar wood instead.
I agree…we don’t need any more chemicals in the ground or in our food.☀️
Nancy, the inside of the planter box is covered with plastic sheeting, so the soil does not have any contact with wood.
Thanx for the simple instructions, maybe I can follow these. 🤔 We’ll see.
Thank you Jim!
1) Pressure treated lumber for anything that goes into your body is like adding a drop of POISON to your daily routine of eating your 5 a day….!!!!!
2) Using Plastic sheeting will only make the wood sweat (meaning that will keep the wood wet & it will ROT FASTER). I use a Professional landscaping fabric, I over cut the fabric & lay it into the new planter box. Then I toss in some bulk garden mix along w/some coconut dirt. (it helps keep the soil from drying out, if you forget to water it once in a while.)
3) I also stain the outside of the planter box before I assemble the planter boxes.
4) Instead of casters (I don’t have smooth space to roll it around on)
But I do have a bare Garage wall, I’m going to install it to the studs w/closet brackets w/hooks for hanging baskets of like a Fuchsia plant…..
I’m not a professional carpenter just a gal w/some High School (45 years ago knowledge) & tools from here & there.