How to Plant a Garden in a Wood Container


Container gardening is an ideal way to enjoy growing plants when you have limited space. Wood containers are both functional and attractive. The wood may be painted, stained or left natural. The most important things to remember when planting a garden in wood containers is that the wood needs to be rot resistant, that water drainage holes are necessary at the bottom of the container, and that more frequent watering is required because of the porous quality of the wood.

Step 1

Choose a container size that will accommodate your plant choices. Consider the plant depth and growing space. The nursery plant should come with this information. Make sure the container is deep enough and wide enough for extra growth. A container made from redwood, cedar or cypress will be more rot resistant than other wood.

Step 2

Create drainage holes at the bottom of the wood container if it does not have them. Use your drill and a round drill bit. Drill several holes, randomly. It is important that excess water has an exit path, or the water will accumulate at the plant's roots and cause problems.

Step 3

Pour an inch or two (depending on the size of the container) of stones or gravel at the bottom of your wooden planter. This keeps the pot's soil from washing out the drainage holes.

Step 4

Choose a commercial potting soil that contains peat moss and perlite. Pour the soil into the wood container a little at a time. Place your plant, still in its original pot, atop the soil. When the potting soil you are adding is about an inch from the top of the plant's original container, you have poured in enough soil.

Step 5

Remove the plant from its original container. If you are planting more than one plant, place them at the proper spacing, as per the instructions that came with the plants. The soil tops of the plants should be an inch or two from the top of your new wooden container. Do not add more soil over the tops of the plants.

Step 6

Pour soil around and in between the plants. Pack the soil gently with your fingers. This will stabilize the plants and roots. Water the soil until excess water drips through the drainage holes.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood planters
  • Potting soil
  • Drill with attachment
  • Stones or gravel


  • Purdue University Consumer Horticulture: Container and Raised Bed Gardening
  • Iowa State University: Container Vegetable Gardening
  • Ohio State University Fact Sheet: Container Vegetable Gardening
Keywords: container gardens, wood container garden, planting in containers

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.