Hello friends! I know I was posting a few times last week, but with my life and job realistically I’m gonna shoot for a goal of one post per week. This week I have a great DIY project that will bring a little extra to your backyard. Texas lamp post planters! My husband and I made these a while back in an effort to define our patio space and spruce up our backyard. They’ve held up really well and I’m super proud of them. So here is our step by step process on DIY Texas lamp post planters.
You Will Need
- Wooden barrel (We used a 25″ x 16″) $35-$40
- 5 gallon bucket $4
- 4″ x 4″ x 8′ piece of wood (You can cut this to your desired length) $10
- Wood stain of your choice $8
- 50 lb bag of Quickcrete $5
- 50 quart bag of potting soil $15 (A 25 quart bag will be just short of enough soil for one planter, plus I like to have extra soil on hand anyway)
- Plant hook $4-$20 (The more ornate the more expensive. Mine was free from my mom.)
- Hanging basket $5-$35 (Depending on if you get a plain basket or those already filled with flowers. Mine were also free from my mom!)
You can find all of this at a home improvement store!
Total: $86-$137 for 1 planter (More or less depending if you shop around or find stuff for free!)
Set your 5 gallon bucket in your wooden barrel and measure to cut the top off the 5 gallon bucket to around 3″ below the top of your barrel. You can cut off a few more inches if desired, but you want to make sure you leave enough to have a good strong base to hold your beam.
Cut your beam down to the desired length. We stood our beam up in the backyard and eyeballed how tall we wanted it. We ended up only cutting a few inches off.
Stain your wood. Since this was going outside we got the pressure treated wood. However you can just use stain to help seal the beam, but keep in mind you may have to restrain every few years as the color fades. If you do get pressure treated wood before you start staining double check to make sure the wood isn’t still moist. You can do this by putting a few drops of water on your beam. If it beads up it’s too wet and you’ll have to let it sit for a day or two, and if the drops soak right in it’s ready to go. Follow the directions on your stain. It’s best to wait at least 24 hours for the stain to dry before continuing.
Mix the concrete according to the instructions. Place your beam in your 5 gallon bucket and fill the bucket with concrete. We discovered it’s best to do this with your planter already in the place you want it and the 5 gallon bucket either already in or nearby the barrel (unless you have a big burly man willing to move a 5 gallon bucket filled with a long beam and concrete wherever you want). I suggest doing it with the bucket in the barrel in the desired place you want the planter. This way you not only don’t have to move super heavy things you can also make sure your bucket is steady in the barrel and you can ensure your beam will be level.
Level your bucket out in your planter by either adding a thin layer of soil or placing shives, thin pieces of wood, under your bucket to keep it from rocking around. Use a level to make sure your beam is straight while the concrete sets. It takes 20-40 minutes for Quickcrete to set so you may have to hold your beam in place for a while. Once the concrete has set you can let go of the beam, but you need to wait 4 hours for it to completely set before doing anything else.
Once your concrete has completely set add your soil and plants to your barrel. I originally went with phlox, day lilies, and gerbera daisies. I was attempting the thrill, fill, and spill concept for container gardening design, but I still haven’t quite mastered that yet.
Hang your plant hook. It wouldn’t be a true Texas lamp post without a plant hook! We did this last because I wanted to get a feel for how high on the post I wanted it to go, and I’m a very visual person so we had to wait until everything else was where I wanted it. We secured our hook with 2″ wood screws.
Hang your baskets! You can add anything you want in them. Unfortunately, my baskets don’t have anything in them yet cause I’m indecisive, and now it’s almost fall so I will probably just wait until spring.
*Optional* Step 9
It’s good to also watch your plants and soil for the next few weeks after you’ve completed your planters to make sure they are draining properly. One of my barrels was draining great but the other I didn’t catch for a while and now my plants look a little sad. We ended up adding 3 3/4″ holes to the bottom of the barrels so they would drain a little better. It worked but my plants still look sad. 😦 Learn from my mistakes!
Thanks y’all! As always let me know if you have any feedback, especially as it pertains to container gardening design! I could definitely use some help in that department.