DIY Vertical Herb Garden Planter Box

Gardening at home, growing your own food, is an extremely rewarding and almost spiritual experience. That being said, for the beginner gardener, or the gardener with little space, it can seem like a large, messy, daunting task. That’s why we at Upcycle recommend getting your hands dirty a little bit at a time. One great way to get started with something you’ll actually end up using is an herb garden. How about a vertical herb garden to save space? Relatively simple to grow, since, they’re basically weeds, herbs can be grown in a small space with basically no training. In short, if you can’t get an herb garden going, let’s start with a Chia Pet and move on from there!

The video below demonstrates how to build a DIY vertical herb garden planter. You may not have all of the woodworking skills that this video maker has, but that’s no reason why you can’t use some of the other vertical gardening ideas we’ve been enthusiastic about to create your own easy to grow herb garden. Remember, the first step to success is taking any action, so why not get started with your own vertical herb garden today?


Getting Your Own Hands Dirty

One of my passions in life is woodworking. I think probably because it fulfills that caveman instinct that I have, and a lot of men have, to provide for their families. Often times projects that I take on in the workshop fulfill a need that we have in the house. But there is something else that has quickly become a passion of mine as well. Gardening. And probably for a lot of the same reasons as woodworking. It feels good to be able to put a dinner on the table where most of the ingredients came from here, the backyard. But, like for many people our space for growing food is limited. So recently I have tried to look for ways to get more out of the space that we do have. And I figure, a vertical herb garden would be a good way to do that.

Choose Materials Wisely

When you think of materials for any outdoor project, probably the first thing that comes to mind is cedar. And why not, its rot resistant properties are basil grows like a weed and should be in every vertical herb gardenwell known. With that said I’ve chosen some scrap pine left over from previous projects. I’ll cut four pieces with a fifteen degree angle for the legs to start. Yes, untreated wood will decompose over time, even cedar. However, wooden planters built out of untreated wood, will probably last a lot longer than you think. I’ll mark out every nine and a half inches or so on both sides of all four legs. I’ll need twenty cleats about five inches each. I off set the marks on each side of the legs by about an inch and a half, to give me the angles that I need for the shelves. I am not using any glue in the planter portion of this project. Over the years as different parts wear out, I want to be able to easily replace pieces of the planter. Now that the legs are done, I need some back slats. For my dimensions I’ll need about 14 board feet.

A Great Weekend Project

rosemary is the perfect addition to any vertical herb gardenI already have one of the planter boxes done. So for the second one I’ll place the sides on top of each other to make sure the widths match after I’m done putting the back slats on. Tack them with brads just to hold them in place. Check for square. Tack the other side. Drill pilot holes Screw them in place. I’m going to flip each box on their sides and place a board across the bottom to mimic the ground so I can get the angle right. Cut some leg braces on the miter saw. Now I thought it would be nice depending on the type of plants we have at the time if we could easily move the vertical herb garden around the patio so I’ll build a frame out of this extra two by six.

After cutting a couple pieces to length, I’ll rip them in half. Cut some half lap joints on the band saw. On a project like this I really don’t measure joints like this, I’ll just eyeball it. As I said I’m not using glue on the planter portion of this build. I’ll use it here because if the base needs replacing I’ll just replace the whole thing. I’ve moved everything to the back patio so I can attach the bottom frame and the casters.

Want to Make it Movable?

These are 3 Inch locking casters. The little guy was so eager to help his dad I had to find him a job. Obviously cedar or some other resistant type of wood would prolong the life of a project like this. I figured the cost of cedar in my area for this would run about $300. This was free for me as all of the material came from the pile of wood I have sitting in the back of my garage. and any replacement parts I may need, well… those will be free as well. Its hard to argue with free. Oh, I did have to buy the casters. Those were three dollars each.

So I guess I spent about twelve dollars on the project. For more information about this project or other diy projects you can go to my website, simply easy diy dot com. Find me on facebook and pinterest. Until then..

As found on Youtube


As I mentioned earlier, there’s no reason that you have to go this in depth when starting your own vertical herb garden. There are plenty of materials around the house or apartment that can be upcycled to fit the need. Think of old storage racks, or new cheap ones from Ikea. That being said, what we love about this project is that you get your hands dirty and its cheap. That’s just a good investment of time and effort.

Vertical Gardening Made Easy – More Small Garden Ideas

In our last post we discussed the value of vertical gardening in creating a balcony garden. Balcony gardens aren’t the only small garden ideas. We like the idea of taking old materials and re-purposing them for our gardening needs. After all, that’s exactly what we’re doing at Upcycle. Putting waste to work.┬áThe best small garden ideas are cheap. Watch the video below to learn how to recycle some basic household materials into a small garden space on the cheap.


Where to Start with Your Small Garden Ideas

Going up!

Growing vertically to optimize the space you have growing a productive garden in small spaces all this and more in today’s episode.

So our first step for today is how to utilize your garden space and grow vertically by growing vertically you make sure that you really optimize your growing space because you can grow a lot more fruits and vegetables and even herbs in a small space. What you’re seeing here is a growing rack which basically has multiple racks and a lot of space between the racks to allow sunlight to come in. You can buy this kind of a growing rack very easily; we bought ours from Costco for just $25 dollars.

We were also able to get growing racks very cheaply at Ikea. Best thing about Ikea is that everything seems ready to be stacked vertically which is a necessity for all small garden ideas. When you don’t have a ton of lateral space, you’ve got to go up. Plus you’ll be closer to the Sun. Just kidding.

pole beans are a great small garden ideas
Photo by grabadonut

What to Grow In

Once you have your baking / growing racks in place, now you’re going to need something to actually grow in.┬áThe video shows them using baking trays which work great. Get one that is fairly deep so that enough soil can fit inside. About the size for a solid Thanksgiving turkey is my favorite to grow in. In our tests we’ve been able to grow various beans, lettuces and even some small root vegetables in modular baking trays.

You will need to punch holes in the bottom to drain excess water. Depending on how thick your tray is, you may need a drill, but with ours, it was thin enough to punch through with a pencil. Your mileage may vary, but the thinner aluminium trays I find are easier to deal with because they never rust.

Now, simple as that, you’ve got a modular system for growing vegetables in a confined space.

What are some of your favorite small garden ideas? We’re all ears. Sign up below to find out more about Native Soil and how it can supercharge your tiny garden.

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As found on Youtube