Some Easy to Make Raised Planters

raised planters

The drinking troughs

One of the problems of getting old is that you don’t bend over as easy as you used to.  My wife has wanted to try some raised planters for a while, to see if it is easier on her back.  Well I promised her some.

So I thought I would go and buy some redwood and throw a couple of raised planters together.  That was before I got sticker shock at the lumberyard caused by the price of redwood.  So I decided I had to find a cheaper way.  I couldn’t find a good deal on scrap lumber, so I went in another direction.

I found a good deal on drinking troughs for life stock.  They are made by Rubbermaid and are 52 inchs long by 30 inches wide and just the right height for her.  They already came with a drain plug in the bottom and were ready to be filled.  There were a lot cheaper than redwood and a lot less work than building redwood planters.

raised planters

The bottom 5 or 6 inches filled with rock

raised planters

The drain at the bottom


We bought five of them and put them in the backyard by the house.  We filled  the bottom 5 or 6 inches with small rock and then covered the rock with filter cloth to keep the dirt from clogging the drain.

The rest was then filled with compost.  My father who will be 91 in a few weeks has been making huge piles of compost.  The mix he has been making is one we have used in planters before without any problems.  The piles are so big he uses his backhoe to mix them.

raised planters

The dirt put in on top of the filter cloth and the planter is ready to use.

raised planters

The filter cloth covering the rocks


The raised planters are now filled with dirt and are ready for my wife to start planting.  She is going to try some square foot gardening in them.  We will let you know how it works.



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4 Responses to Some Easy to Make Raised Planters

  1. jay says:

    I have a few of these for my horses. They are one of the few troughs impervious to sun (and horse) damage. I have the 70 gallon ones, they seem to last forever. I hope you threw the drain plug in the bottom with the small rock in case you later need to turn them back into livestock waterers. A friend of mine uses 6 foot kiddie pools as raised veggie beds, cheaper than these but not nearly as tall, 😉 Neat idea.

  2. Floyd says:

    Brilliant! I’ll be doing this too.

  3. Kathy says:

    It’s a good idea but, keep in mind the soil will heat up more because of the black plastic. Be prepared to shade the sides.

  4. Donna Stevens says:

    I’m thinking about using Rubbermaid stock tanks for my raised garden this year so I was looking on line and found this site.
    How did it work for you?

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