Veggie Planter

A Nifty Veggie Planter

Having your herbs or veggies at raised level makes it a pleasure to cultivate them – particularly if you have a bad back! This rustic – yet sleek – concrete planter is robust and will fit neatly into a corner of a courtyard or patio – adding a special organic touch to your outdoor décor.

What you need:
1200 x 2440 x 18 mm sheet of shutterboard
Pine strips (44 x 22 mm), cut to thefollowing sizes:
2 x 1200 mm; 2 x 800 mm (for top mould)
4 x 1100 mm; 4 x 400 mm (for front and back moulds)
4 x 800 mm; 4 x 400 mm (for side moulds)
2 x plastic containers (approximately 400 x 600 x 250 mm each, and punctured so that water can drain through them)
1000 x 12000 x 40 mm sheet of polystyrene
6 mm reinforcing bar
Binding wire
BRC mesh
2 x bags of PPC Surebuild 42.5N cement
2 x bags of stone
4 x bags of building sand
1 x bag of full-thread screws (4 x 50 mm)
Nuts for the screws
8 x full-thread bars (8 mm)

Cordless screwdriver and attachment, pencil, jigsaw, rubber mallet, Stanley knife, small nosing trowel, electric hammer drill with 10 mm drill-bit, spanner, and a carpenter’s roofing square.

What you do:

Step 1. Make concrete by combining 1 bag cement, 2 bags sand, and 1 bag stone. Slowly add water while you mix, until the concrete attains the consistency of thick yoghurt. Keep the concrete on hand.

Step 2 Placing them facedown, trace the outlines of the 2 planting containers onto the polystyrene. Then cut out the templates with the Stanley knife or jigsaw, and keep them on hand.

Step 3 Make a mould for the top by building a box measuring 1200 x 800 mm with the pre-cut pine strips, backed onto a piece of shutterboard cut to the same dimensions (or slightly bigger). Use the screws to fix the box together. Then place the 2 polystyrene templates into the framework – positioning them carefully in the middle. Use the nosing trowel to fill around the polystyrene templates, filling the mould to the top. Tap the sides of the mould to settle any air bubbles, ensuring a smooth finish when you remove the mould.

Step 4 Make the box moulds for the 2 sides and back and front of the box, in a similar way to that used to make the top mould. Each of your 4 moulds must be backed onto shutterboard. Then make up the reinforcing using mesh and binding – ensuring it fits within 50 mm of the edges of each mould (so that when the moulds are removed no reinforcing is visible). Fill each mould with concrete until half way – then press in the reinforcing before filling to the top with the remainder of the concrete. Again, tap around the sides of each mould to release any air bubbles. Allow to cure for 7 days, before removing the box frameworks.

Step 5 To assemble the concrete box planter, drill holes in the sides that meet, and secure them with thread bar and bolts. Place the counter on top and insert the plastic containers into the holes – ready for planting.

The Gardener