How to Use a Box Spring for a Planter Box


Green living is about finding new ways to recycle items and save energy. People committed to a green lifestyle let nothing go to waste. Following that principle, it is possible to use an old box spring to make a container garden. Box springs are natural planting containers because their shape lends itself to the proper planting depth of many popular plants, including vegetables and herbs. It's constructed of porous materials that allow for soil drainage and aeration.

Step 1

Dissect your box spring to determine what is inside. To start, pull back a corner of the cloth cover on the bottom of the box spring.

Step 2

Examine the spring system, including how it attaches to the frame. Examine the frame and the internal structure including how it connects. Use this knowledge to determine which side of your boxed spring is sturdiest and will serve as your planter's bottom.

Step 3

Place your box spring on the ground with the sturdiest part of the frame facing the ground. Use a utility knife to cut away the cloth top, exposing the inner frame and springs. Leave the side fabric intact.

Step 4

Remove the springs. The method you use will depend on the type of spring system your box spring employs. Some spring systems can be removed from the wooden frame with pliers; others can simply be lifted out and some will have to be removed using wire cutters. Take care not to break the frame apart.

Step 5

Position the box spring so it is in the location of your choosing. Leave the top wooden slats in place to help support your planter box. Plan your garden so you can plant around these slats. Removing them can cause your planter's side walls to collapse.

Step 6

Line the bottom and sides of your box spring with newspaper. This will help slow the decay of your box spring's bottom and side fabric, allowing it to last longer. Place a layer of straw on top of the layer of newspaper to help with drainage.

Step 7

Fill with moist potting soil and add seedlings or seeds. If you don't like your planter's appearance, plant a row of decorative flowers or herbs that will grow and hide your box spring's sides.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters (optional)
  • Newspaper
  • Straw
  • Potting soil


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Keywords: box pring planter, container garden, matress planter

About this Author

Lillian Downey has an extensive and diverse background, including studies in English, social work, women's studies, non-profit management, political science and nursing. In addition to writing, she has worked as a sex-ed teacher, clinic manager, pregnancy options counselor and mental health professional. She served as Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Journal of Literature and Art and an Assistant Fiction Editor at the Antioch Review.