DIY Hugelkultur Planter Boxes


My favorite DIY garden project this year was building raised planter beds along our deck. Our house had a 25-year old cedar deck which was starting to deteriorate. We decided to redo the deck and incorporate two raised planter boxes into it.

planter boxes

Photo by Mary Jane Duford

Deck Refurbishment

Before refurbishing the deck and building the planter boxes, we took down an existing linden tree which was overhanging the deck. It created quite a mess each year. It was a bit sad to see it go even though we knew it was time (my dad planted the tree when I was a kid). We decided to incorporate the timber from the linden tree into our planter beds as hugelkultur to utilize the organic matter on-site.

After taking down the linden tree we removed the old deck boards and replaced some of the structural lumber (see the before photos here). We re-decked the area with new 1-by-6-inch cedar. Then it was time to build the garden planter boxes!

Raised Bed Frame

Photo by Mary Jane Duford

Building the Planter Boxes

We built our planter boxes with 2-by-4-inch lumber frames. The simple frame was clad on the outside with 1-by-8-inch deck fascia board. We are lucky to have a great local lumber yard that sourced this custom cedar for us. Finding nice cedar 1-by-8-inch can be a bit tricky (especially in the 16-foot lengths we used for our deck side stairs).