Portable Garden Planter

  • Portable Garden Planter

This garden trolley is the perfect solution if you’re looking to grow more than a windowsill of herbs but don’t have the space for a full produce patch.

Standing at about 800mm high, the trolley features a 900 x 650mm planting area that’s about 180mm deep and a shelf for storage.

The unit is a comfortable working height and a good size to grow enough herbs for the average household.

With castors for mobility, it’s easy to wheel around to chase the sun or free up space for outdoor entertaining.

It’s built out of treated pine with marine plywood used as a base for the planter box and decking boards as slats for the shelf. 

Cut the parts with a circular saw and assemble using butt joints and mitred corners, then paint it and add four 75mm castors to the base, making sure two are lockable. 

To get the shabby chic look, finish the trolley with specialist milk paint.

Add the plants

Fill the trolley with pots or plant herbs and vegies into the box. To use it as a planter, drill holes in the base and line it with landscape fabric. 

Add a 20mm layer of gravel to assist drainage, cover it with fabric then fill the planter with a potting mix formulated for vegies and herbs.

This planter features strawberries, chillies, eggplant, lemongrass, basil, mint, oregano and rosemary.

TIP For a fast crop, plant herb and vegie seedlings instead of seeds, watering them in well. 


Use 75mm x 8g screws to build the box frame, and attach the legs and the blocks. Secure the box base with 40mm x 8g screws.

On all the corners use PVA adhesive and square-drive 75mm x 8g treated pine screws. 

Secure the planter box pieces with 125mm x 14g bugle screws. 

Make the shelf frame using 100mm x 8g screws, attaching the slats with 60mm x 8g screws.

Build the trolley 

Step 1. Make the frame

Position the frame front and back between the frame sides, apply PVA adhesive to the joints, securing with screws through the sides into the front and back pieces. Join the frame to the marine ply base by securing screws through the base into the frame.

Step 2. Cut the mitres

Cut the front, back and side box pieces with 45º mitres on the ends using a circular saw. To create the offset effect on the three layers of the planter box, cut each piece into two random lengths, rounding over the edges with a belt sander.

Step 3. Build the planter

Secure the planter box pieces with adhesive and bugle screws, recessing the heads by enlarging part of the hole with a spade bit. Position the base layer around the frame, add the middle layer and corner blocks then secure the top layer.

Step 4. Attach the legs

Turn the planter box upside down and position a leg in each corner of the base frame, securing it to the planter box with screws. Secure the shelf sides to the base of the legs with a 15mm overhang on leading edges using adhesive and screws.

Step 5. Attach the slats

Cut notches into the front and back slats using a jigsaw so they fit neatly around the legs. Secure the slats from underneath and through the shelf sides with screws, using a spacer to ensure even gaps. Drill drainage holes through the planter box base.

Step 6. Finish the trolley

Mark the ends of the shelf front and back to secure the castors with the supplied screws. Attach salvaged hooks or tool holders to the middle layer of the box sides then apply two coats of leftover exterior acrylic in various colours of your choice.

Click on the diagram

Use this diagram as a guide for building this portable planter.

Click on the cutting list

Click on the cutting list and find out what items, and in what dimensions, are needed for this project.

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