How to Make Concrete Trough Planters


When it comes to container gardens, a concrete trough planter is an ideal container for perennial plants, shrubs and trees. The thick concrete walls help to insulate the contents of the container against freezing, and the heavy weight of the container prevents top-heavy plants from tipping over. Making a concrete trough planter is simple with a few ingredients from your local home improvement store.

Step 1

Put on protective clothing, gloves, goggles and a mask to protect your skin, eyes and lungs when working with concrete and concrete dust.

Step 2

Select Styrofoam ice chests that can nest inside one another to use as concrete forms.

Step 3

Lay out plastic sheeting to protect your working surface.

Step 4

Place one ice chest face down on top of your plastic sheeting.

Step 5

Mix water from a garden hose with cement dye if you want to dye your cement another color.

Step 6

Mix water with cement dust using a trowel until it is the consistency of a mud pie.

Step 7

Apply the mixture to the back of the Styrofoam container.

Step 8

Bend chicken wire to shape it into the shape of the cooler. Press the chicken wire into the cement mixture.

Step 9

Apply a second layer of cement over the chicken wire until it is covered.

Step 10

Press the second Styrofoam cooler over the cement trough to give it a more defined shape.

Step 11

Wrap the cement and coolers with the plastic sheeting and allow to dry and cure.

Step 12

When the cement has dried, pull the Styrofoam coolers from around the cement trough.

Step 13

Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the trough using a masonry drill bit.

Things You'll Need

  • Chicken wire
  • Ready-mix concrete
  • 2 Styrofoam ice chests
  • Gloves
  • Protective clothing
  • Mask
  • Protective goggles
  • Masonry trowel
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Garden hose
  • Concrete dye
  • Drill
  • Masonry drill bit


  • What Can Be Used For a Good Hypertufa Mold?
  • Do it Yourself Concrete Planters
  • Make a Hypertufa Trough

Who Can Help

  • Raised Garden Bed and Rock Wall
Keywords: cement trough, container garden, concrete pot

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.