If you’re limited on gardening space or maybe want to block out some neighbors and get a little privacy in your backyard, then building some planter boxes with trellises may be the way to go. These great additions to the garden are easy to build, inexpensive, and can provide you with a lot of food for years to come.
What Lumber Can You Use
I had a bunch of used untreated 2×4’s sitting around from other projects, so I decided to build them mostly from those. I started by nailing 2 of the boards together to make my 4×4 posts. Of course, if you’re buying new material, go ahead and get 8 foot 4×4 posts. Since I was making two of these trellises, I then cut 8 top boards with angles at the ends to give them a little character.
Personally, I wouldn’t be worried about using treated 4’x4’s for your posts. The way this is designed, they will not be touching the soil inside the planter boxes and they will last much longer in the ground. You could use treated lumber for everything but if you are concerned about chemicals leaching into your soil you should avoid it (this is a whole other topic for another day).
Putting Together The Frame
You will want to build the frame on the ground and then set the posts when it is together because it will be much harder to hold the boards up on the posts and try to secure them.
You will need a posthole digger to drop the frame you’ve built into the ground. You can secure the posts with bagged concrete if you like to give the structure more stability.
Building The Planter Box
I then boxed in the bottom of the trellis to make the planter boxes. These are approximately 4 feet long, 16 inches wide, and 8 inches deep. I then attached 2×2 boards to the inside of the posts to attach the lattice to, I then cut and hung the lattice.
Getting The Beds Ready To Plant
All that was left at this point was to put down some cardboard in the bottom of the box to form a weed barrier, fill the boxes with good garden soil and compost, and plant. I planted one with Kentucky pole beans and the other with cucumbers.
Just a few short months later and everything is doing great in these planter boxes. The pole beans and cucumbers have provided some decent privacy as well as providing an abundance of food in a small space.
In my opinion, these are the perfect garden beds for the urban homestead limited on space, and I think they look nice too. So get out there, build some raised beds and trellises and take another step toward self-sufficiency and sustainability. Happy Homesteading.
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