How to build a DIY planter box with trellis. This outdoor privacy screen planter is perfect for growing climbing plants with plenty of room in the front for lower growing plants.
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I’d been talking about building these planters and trellis for a while. We’d installed a dog fence around one part of our yard to keep the dogs contained and I needed something to block them from hopping over near the stairs. It was a project that sort of sat for a while because we are always knee deep in several projects and usually exhausted from also caring for the two very busy boys.
But our in-laws were up for a weekend and my husband decided to tackle this while he had his dad around to help out a bit with the heavy parts. I’m not sure why he thought I couldn’t help seeing I’m 100% raw power, but hey… I’ll manage to survive with my bruised ego.
Now… full disclosure… we built these last year. I never got around to publishing the post. I kept hoping to have some photos with beautiful vines growing up the lattice but we didn’t have enough time to get there last year. I would have waited until the end of this summer to post this, but seeing we’re due with baby in August, I can’t guarantee I’ll be up for going out to photograph (and weed) it all. In fact, I highly doubt it. So now seemed like a good time to share. If I can get some updated photos though, I’ll be all over it!
Because I am posting this so late, I’m not going to be able to give you a super good idea of the supplies. Sorry, total fail. But I believe this is mostly pressure treated wood, nails (yeah we’re hardcore and used nails), and paint. Oh and the lattice which we purchased… it’s the plastic kind, not wood.
Ah yes, and an absurd amount of soil to fill it… plus plants of course.
DIY Planter Box with Trellis
To begin this whole project, I want to tell you that we probably didn’t do this in the best method possible. Ideally, you’d want a nice level area and you’d build it all, then move it onto the spot you want. We have a slight incline to the area and we were building it beside the pond so we were trying to build it in that spot. Not ideal.
This is the spot. Right in front of the deck is the pond which is a bit hard to see from the angle of the photo. But you get the idea. Tight squeeze and it’s at a slight angle.
He built the portion that he wouldn’t be able to access next to the pond first. Then my father in law helped move it to the right spot.
From there, he was able to keep building the rest of the planters.
Here it is, partially finished without the lattice or trim installed.
If you can’t tell, these are a lot of fun for the kids… their own special boat.
My husband added trim around the planters. Then I painted (with outdoor paint) the poles to support the lattice and the exterior of the planters before we installed the lattice. I would suggest stain instead of paint. I anticipate this will need more upkeep than stain would have so I’ve been having some regrets. We’ll see though.
My husband added the trim to the top too. Eventually we stuck on some simple solar motion sensor lighting to the top on each side.
Last year I threw in some various hardy plants in there late in the season so I don’t have any good pictures of beautiful vines growing up the trellis. Womp womp. But this year I planted cucumber plants in the back and nasturtium in the front so hopefully I’ll be able to follow up with some gorgeous “after” photos once we hit August or so. If… you know… I can even waddle up and down stairs by that point…
So far so good though…
Here’s the new pond and planters side by side…
Plants for the Large Planter with Trellis
This thing is enormous and it’s deep which gives you a lot of options for what you want to grow in it. We’ve had good success both years that we grew in this- although we moved so I can’t speak for how it’s going for the new owners of the home.
You’ll need to tailor your plant choices to how much shade the planter gets. Don’t forget that the trellis may provide some shade, depending on the direction you put the planter and trellis. Our trellis did shade our planter a bit during the summer.
Year one, I planted nasturtium along the front which created a waterfall of pretty orange flowers over the front edge of the planter and onto the pond and patio. I grew cucumbers up the trellis. This worked really well and I liked the colors for the planter. I also liked having edibles close at hand as both cucumber and nasturtium are edible plants.
The one issue with the cucumbers is that we used compost in the planters and I had a squash volunteer. The squash volunteer attracted those icky squash bugs and they moved to the cucumber plants when I pulled the squash plant out. I HATE those things… I don’t mind an occasional bug, but there’s always tons of them so I wasn’t a fan. I also dislike spraying with any sort of pesticides so there’s that.
Year two, I planted hardy kiwi in the back. These remained for the new owners of the house and should come back every year for them. Eventually they’ll produce small fruit, similar to the tropical kiwi but smaller and they don’t require peeling. The vine grew fast and was very pretty- but I didn’t get any flowers for that year.
In the front, I planted a ton of carrots. They grew AWESOME. I have never had such good luck with carrots so it was nice getting such a large crop. In the future, I would plant more carrots, more strategically. I did a single row along the front… instead, I’d opt to plant seeds in a zig zag so I could increase my crop.
No issues with bugs in the planters that year.
I was thinking about it and maypop might be a great option for a sunny privacy trellis too. They have very pretty flowers and seem to grow fast.
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Danielle Pientka is the sewing and DIY blogger behind DIYDanielle.com. She taught herself to sew in 2011 when she wanted to make cloth diapers for her first son. She’s been sewing everything from ecofriendly items to kids products to clothing since, as it has become a passion. She loves learning how to do new things and teaching others in the process. She hopes to inspire other moms to take time for themselves to find their own creative passion.
Danielle lives in Maryland with her three young sons and her husband, Brandon. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, horseback rides, and has a small homestead with goats and ducks. Visit her shop to buy patterns or her sewing eBooks. Subscribe to her newsletter to get blog updates, free patterns and other printables by clicking here.