Standing Herb Garden

Standing Herb Garden

This post describes a standing herb garden that I built. It was inspired by a combination of a 2×4 workbench and a raised garden bed made of cedar fence planks. Essentially the project is a large planter box placed on top of a table. The top of the box is at 40″ from the ground, a perfect height for maintaining and watering the garden without awkward bending or uncomfortable lifting. 

This project was inspired by the plans for a workbench, and a separate plan for a raised garden bed constructed from cheap cedar fence planks. The goal is to make it quick, easy, and convenient to incorporate fresh herbs into our dinners. By using cedar fence slats, this build was considerably cheaper than my raised vegetable garden bed.

Construction was simple and performed over two days. On the first day I built the table out of 2×4’s. The second day was used to construct the cedar box, paint, and add finishing touches. The overall dimensions of the garden are 24” deep, 68” wide, and 40” to the top lip of the box. All supplies were purchased at a home improvement store for about $150. My shopping list was:

2”x4”x8′ – Qty. 7

Cedar fence planks – Qty. 16

1” weather resistant screws – 1 lb. box

2” weather resistant screws – 1 lb. Box

8’x3′ roll of window screen

10 cubic ft. of garden soil

Table frame inspired by a workbench. Cross supports, similar to the top, were added to the bottom after this picture was taken.

Counter sunk screws hold the 2x4's together

The top of the table, or bottom of the box, is made from cedar planks. On the table saw rip one of the planks to 2.5 inches wide to make the dimensions turn out as exactly 24" wide

A box was constructed to hold the dirt in using cedar planks. The trick to turn the thin planks into something that you can glue together in the corners is shown in the next picture.

The trick to finding enough gluing surface to turn the thin cedar fence planks into a structurally sound box is to use the puzzle piece gluing technique described in more detail here.

Cleats were both glued to the box and screwed into the table top to hold the box to the table.

Cutouts were made to go around the table feet

1" drain holes were drilled in 12 locations to allow excess water to drain out of the dirt.

The completed raised herb garden

Cut the window screen to fit into the bottom of the box which will prevent dirt from falling out of the drain holes. The pine 2×4’s were painted with an outdoor stain that we previously used on the deck. I filled the herb garden with 10 cubic feet of miracle grow garden soil mixed with a 25 lb. bag of cow manure.


About Ryan

Ryan is currently a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory. His research area includes Prognostic Health Management of Electronics. For more information please visit:
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One Response to Standing Herb Garden

  1. Karla says:

    This is great! I’ve been looking for plans for a planter box and this is perfect!

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