How to Make Easy Earth Box Planters


Earth box planters are technically self-watering plant containers, and are an ideal addition to any garden or landscape. They can help the gardeners by preventing nutrient-loss in the soil, and making it so plants need to be watered less frequently. Building your own earth box planters can be simple and rewarding. Keep some important things in mind, though--such as proper measuring and making sure the planter is firmly secured together.

Step 1

Take the lid of the storage bin in order to create the separator for the soil and water reservoir. Take sharp pruning scissors and cut off a tiny part of the lid's edge, just enough so it can be pushed into the container near the center and stay put.

Step 2

Drill 1/6-inch holes all over the plastic separator, keeping them around one inch apart. Drill two more holes into the separator that are about the same size in diameter then the PVC pipe, keeping them on opposite sides of the lid.

Step 3

Drill yet another hole near one side of the separator that is big enough for a garden hose to fit through.

Step 4

Use the pruning scissors to cut two lengths of PVC pipe that are long enough to go through the separator PVC holes down to the bottom of the container. You want them to barely com up above the holes. Use the drill to create 1/6 inch holes all over these pipes about one inch apart from each other.

Step 5

Secure the pipe shelf "legs" to the separator with zip ties, looping them through the holes at the top of the pipe.

Step 6

Cut four more pieces of PVC that will fit underneath the separator and hold up each corner. Use the drill to create more 1/6 inch holes all over these pipes, keeping them around 1 inch apart from each other. Tie the pipes in place beneath the separator with zip ties as well. The point is to create a support system for the separator to hold up the soil and keep the water underneath.

Step 7

Seal off all around the edges of the separator with duct tape in order to make sure the soil doesn't fall below.

Step 8

Put the earth box planter where you want it to be since it will not be easy to move once full of water, soil and vegetation. Put the garden hose through the hole that is sized for it, and fill the bottom part under the separator with water.

Step 9

Fill the top part of the separator with new good quality potting soil. Soak it completely with water from the hose.

Step 10

Plant into this soil whatever you desire, from flowers, herbs, vegetables or fruit.You can also place a trellis over this earth box planter for vegetation such as tomatoes, vines or melons.

Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic storage bin with lid
  • Scissors
  • Electric drill
  • Pieces of PVC pipe
  • Zip ties
  • Duct tape
  • Potting soil with time-released fertilizer
  • Plants
  • Black plastic garbage bag


  • Constructing Earth Boxes
  • Making Your Own Earth Planter
Keywords: building earth boxes, earth box planters, constructing planters

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.