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Home > Ideas & Tips > 7 Steps To A DIY Staircase Garden For Your Patio

7 Steps To A DIY Staircase Garden For Your Patio

Staircase Plant Stand

7 Steps To A DIY Staircase Garden For Your Patio

Get inspired with fun, easy DIY projects and ideas for your home. This project and all opinions are from Melissa J. Will at Empress of Dirt in partnership with Lowe's Canada.


Thinking about adding a vertical garden to your patio or balcony? A staircase plant stand provides a good amount of growing space for container plants, including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.


This project is designed so you can get all of the required materials at Lowe's. The only tools you'll
need are an electric drill and a circular saw. You can also cut the lumber with a hand saw. The top
copper bar allows room for hanging baskets and the side supports could be used to support climbing
beans or tomato vines.


If you're short on space, the area below the steps is perfect for stashing a watering can and other
garden supplies. Move the whole thing indoors during the winter months to give your plants
maximum light in front of sliding glass doors or a window. The finished size of the unit is 6-feet tall by
3-feet wide and 36 inches deep at the base.


Materials

Brown pressure-treated lumber was used in this project.


  • (2) 4-step riser

  • (2) 2-in x 4-in x 6-ft cut lumber;
    Cut 2-in x 4-in x 12-ft lumber into two 6-foot pieces.

  • (2) 2-in x 4-in x 6-ft cut lumber;
    Cut 2-in x 4-in x 12-ft lumber into two 6-foot pieces.

  • (2) 2-in x 4-in x 3-ft cut lumber;
    Cut 2-in x 4-in x 8-ft lumber into two 3-foot pieces.
    Discard the remaining 2-foot piece.

  • (8) 5/4-in x 6-in x 3-ft cut lumber;
    Cut 5/4-in x 6-in x 12-ft lumber into four 3-foot pieces.
    Repeat process to collect 8 pieces total.

  • (1) 3-foot 3/4-in copper pipe

  • (2) 3/4-in galvanized floor flange

  • (48) 2 1/2-in deck screws

  • (8) 1-in deck screws

  • Wood stain (optional) and clean rags

  • Black exterior spray paint for metal flanges (optional)

Tools

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Circular or hand saw

  • 3/32-in drill bit (for pilot holes)

  • #8 screwdriver or driver bit

  • Electric drill

  • 220-grit sandpaper with sanding block or palm sander



Before You Start
  • If you want to spray paint the metal flanges or copper pipe, do this first.

  • Smooth any rough wood edges with sandpaper.

  • Pre-drill all screw holes with a 3/32-inch drill bit before attaching pieces together.
1. Pre-drill the step boards.
Pre-drill the step boards

The staircase is made from two 4-step risers and eight 3-foot boards.
Four 3-foot boards will be used for the back step pieces.
Set aside the remaining four 3-foot boards for Step 2.
Each board is attached to the step riser with four screws (two at each end).


Pre-drill the pilot holes. These holes should be 3/4-inch from the board ends and 1-inch in from the
sides. The screws should land right in the middle of the riser wood.

2. Attach the back step boards to the risers.
Attach the back step boards to the risers

Place the stair risers securely against a wall; you may want someone to hold them in place while
you work. To place the risers in the correct position, be sure the 8 1/2-inch sections are horizontal
and the shorter 7-inch sections are vertical (see diagram above).


Starting with the top step, line up the edge of the first board with the outer edge of the stair riser and
secure in place with a 2 1/2-inch deck screws.


Repeat on the other end.


Attach the three remaining boards.


The entire unit should be 3 feet wide when assembled.

3. Attach the front step boards to the risers.

The front step boards extend slightly
beyond the risers.


Leave a slight gap between the front
and back step boards to allow for
water drainage.


Drill pilot holes and then attach the
front boards to the risers. Be sure to
place these screws so they attach to
the riser wood, not in the overhanging
section.

Attach the front step boards to the risers
4. Assemble the support frame with copper pipe.
Assemble the support frame with copper pipe

The support frame is made from
two 6-foot pieces of lumber,
two 3-foot pieces, and a copper
pipe for hanging plants.

Assemble the support frame with copper pipe

Use 1-inch screws to attach
each floor flange to each 6-foot
pieces of lumber above the
copper pipe. The top edge of
each flange should be three
inches from the top of the lumber.

Secure the copper pipe in the
flanges.

Assemble the support frame with copper pipe

Drill pilot holes and then attach
the 3-foot pieces of lumber
between the tops of the 6-foot
pieces of lumber above the
copper pipe.

5. Attach the support frame to the staircase steps.
Attach the support frame to the staircase steps

Place the staircase steps in a level position and line up the back edge of the support frame with the
back edge of the risers.


With the staircase level, secure the support frame to the sides of the risers with four 2 1/2-inch deck
screws.


Attach the remaining 3-foot piece of lumber between the support frame, behind the staircase steps,
approximately 16 inches from ground. This gives the whole unit extra stability.

6. Stain or paint as desired.
Stain or paint as desired

I opted to give my plant stand a final coat of brown wood stain.

7. Add plants

Here are some ideas:


  • There are plenty of fruits and
    vegetables
    that grow nicely in
    containers.

  • The 3-bean salad mix planter
    (see image, black planter with cage)
    will gradually grow up the support
    frame. Hang some twine to wrap the
    tendrils around as they grow.

  • The mixed lettuce bowl can be
    harvested any time for salads and
    sandwiches.

Add plants

  • Be sure to start new leaf lettuce seeds every few weeks so you have fresh salad greens all
    summer long.

  • Herbs such as basil, sage, chives, parsley, and oregano are popular choices.

  • Hang a pair of herb shears on the plant stand so they're handy when you need them.
Pineberry strawberries

Strawberries grow nicely in hanging baskets and containers. This year, I'm trying
Pineberry strawberries - these berries taste like pineapple!

Pineberry strawberries

At the end of the season, bring your plant stand indoors and give your houseplants nice, even light in
a sunny location during the winter months.

The finished product

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