DIY Sturdy Planted Posts | i should be mopping the floor

DIY Sturdy Planted Posts

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These DIY Sturdy Planted Posts went together easily and are perfect for the yard! I can already think of a thousand uses for them. Where would YOU use these DIY Sturdy Planted Posts?
Posts for Patio Lights


DIY Sturdy Planted Posts

Growing up, my parents' yard was always so lush and beautiful. Our home had a pool and I can remember many fun gatherings around it (and in it!). Both my mom and dad worked so hard to keep the yard and patio absolutely lovely. There were lush flowers everywhere and the entire yard was bordered three feet deep with Asian Jasmine, lined with railroad ties to separate the Jasmine from the thick St. Augustine grass. We lived in an older area of Austin and there were beautiful, established trees everywhere (that dropped buckets of leaves into that pool...much to my dad's chagrin). My mom even had flowering, overflowing baskets hanging from limbs of trees. My parents both worked full-time, so looking back, I'm truly amazed they were able to keep up such a beautiful area on their own. I strive to keep up our own yard looking just a little bit as pretty as my parents' did, but our lives are super busy. But, we have worked hard this last year or so to really bring our backyard together...and that hard work has really started to pay off. Because of all of this work, we've truly been enjoying this area more, too. 
We've added these DIY sturdy planted posts into some whiskey barrel planters to hang strings of lights all around our firepit area. These types of planted posts would be perfect for mailboxes, hanging baskets, and so much more, too. 
See how we made them super sturdy (to withstand crazy Texas thunderstorms) below.

How to Make DIY Sturdy Planted Posts:

To start with, we purchased three large whiskey barrels (they come cut in half). Ours measured roughly 24" across. We also grabbed nine 60-pound bags of cement mix, six large "L" brackets (the kind shelves sit on), three treated-lumber posts, as well some scrap wood from our pile.
We also picked up some of our favorite plants as well as Miracle-Gro Potting Mix and LiquaFeed to make sure our plants get a healthy start.
How To Make Planted Posts for Patio

Reinforcing the Planted Posts

The first step is to reinforce the bottoms of the barrels with some scrap wood pieces, (you'll see why below). We used 1x6 pieces and cut them to fit the bottoms of the barrels. My dad helped me with this part of the project. He loves engineering these types of projects. He's one of those people who makes projects *look* easy. 
Reinforcing Whiskey Barrels

We removed the original reinforcement pieces (pictured above on the left), with a crowbar. Then we screwed our cut 1x6 pieces into place. You'll need two pieces per barrel. This doesn't have to be perfect. These are just used for the brackets to be screwed into...and the brackets are simply to hold the planted posts in place until the cement sets up. So, truly, these do not require any type of perfection.
How to Plant Posts


Placement of Your Sturdy Planted Posts

Position the barrel where you'd like it to go in your yard or garden area. Once the cement is poured, it will be super heavy...movable-ish...but only in a somewhat dire situation (give or take...I mean you could "roll" your planted posts around the yard if you were in a bind, I suppose). Before placing the post into the barrel, attach your two brackets onto adjacent sides of your post (so it can't move either direction once the cement is setting up). We also added the hook to the top of the post before securing it to the bottom of the barrel...but that's just preference. Make sure you're screwing the brackets into the area where the reinforcements have been placed on the bottom of your barrel. Try not to do this portion on a windy day. Before these are secure with cement, they could be a bit dangerous..."falling over" wise. 
Cemented Whiskey Barrel Posts


Set Your Planted Posts With Cement

Next, we started pouring the cement into the barrels...one bag at a time. I promise I did not make my dad do all the work, y'all. Just when I had the camera in my hand...wink. We mixed each bag, one at a time.


The Easy Way to Create Planted Posts


After getting one bag of dry cement into the barrel, we sprayed it down with water. And used the end of a hoe to start mixing. Honestly, I actually served as the expert sprayer on this project. 


Creating Planted Posts


After mixing each dry bag with water and getting it to our desired consistency, we'd add another bag on top and repeat the process. Our desired consistency was very brownie-batterish. After each barrel had three bags of mixed cement all ready to go, we let them cure for 48 hours. It's important to watch your weather forecast when planning your planted post project...you want it to stay dry while your posts cure. 
Whiskey Barrel Planters with Lights


Plant Your Sturdy Planted Posts:

Next was the really fun part...planting! We also made sure to drill {somewhat discreet} drainage holes into the sides of the barrel, just above the top of the cement level. Since we covered up the drainage in the bottom of the barrel, we needed to be sure and add these into the sides of the barrel. 
Cleaning up the yard for the spring and summer is one of our favorite family projects. This summer, we've gone a bit "bigger" than usual, but it makes it all the more exciting for it to come together.
Every year, we use Miracle-Gro products to make sure our hard work keeps on keepin' on...if you know what I mean. You can grab Miracle-Gro products, as well as other goodies from the Scott's family of products at your local Walmart to make sure your lawn and garden look their absolute best.
Whiskey Barrel Light Holders

This area is looking so colorful with all of these blooms now...can hardly wait to have all of the lights up and a few friends over for some fun backyard time. A full barrel of Miracle-Gro Potting Mix (and cement!) makes the perfect home for our hearty Marigolds. 
Whiskey Barrel Posts


If we feed our plants with the absolute best products, we'll get their absolute best performance all season long! Plus my kids think this Miracle-Gro LiquiFeed Feeder is so much fun to water with!


Patio Lighting



Love Planted Posts?


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Remember to always read and follow label directions for the referenced products.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Scotts. The opinions and text are all mine.




64 comments:

  1. Where did y'all get the whiskey barrels?

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  2. Excellent job! What type of wood did you use for the posts? I didn't catch that in your article

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    1. We just used the treated posts from the lumber yard. Thanks!

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    2. My apologies for not being specific. Could you give me the measurements for the posts? Thanks for the quick response!

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    3. No problem. They are 8' tall and they're the standard square post (I believe that's 4"x4").

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    4. Thank you!!! I'm going to use your 5 gallon bucket tutorial for my project. Did you use one Quickrete bag per bucket?

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    5. Actually each bucket had three bags of the Quickrete. Thanks!

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  3. Do you think 4 of these would be sturdy enough to hold a sail shade?

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    1. I am honestly not familiar enough with sail shades or their weights or wind, etc.? So, I don't know for sure? I always had lights and heavy hanging baskets on them without issue.

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  4. Hi! Do you remember the size of your barrels? 20inch? 25inch? Thank you!

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  5. Where did you get those sting lights? Love the shape.

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  6. We live near San Antonio and sometimes we get some serious winds. Have these posts ever fallen due to wind?

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    1. Hi Sheen-- We never had any problems with them (we are just an hour and a half north of you). We no longer live in this home, but for the couple of years we were in this home, there was never a wind incident. We have relatives in San Antonio who followed our tutorial and built these, too, and have never had an issue. Hope this helps!

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    2. Thank you! I am going to give this a try. I love this!

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    3. Hope they turn out great for you!

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  7. Do you think it would be sturdy enough with a taller narrower whiskey barrel? or does it need the wide bottom?

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    1. Goodness...I just worry they could be too top heavy? That is a tough one, but to be safe, I'd stick with the "fat" ones.

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  8. did you have to add any drainage holes on the side for your planting part?

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    1. Yes, we drilled holes just above the cement area for drainage. You can see the photo in the post of my son drilling them. They worked out perfectly.

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  9. How did you provide electricity for the string lights?

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    1. We ran an extension cord from the patio area around one of the windows...I guess we hid the cord pretty well! ;)

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  10. Your website is unusable on mobile. It keeps overlaying video ads and when I click close it opens one of your images in zoom mode and when I go back it starts the ad again. Very disappointing that I can't follow the tutorial because of this.

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    1. Oh no! I will look into that. Thank you for letting me know, Chris! If you are able, please try visiting from a laptop or desktop to see if that fixes the problem. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  11. I’ve been researching how to make this for our backyard. This is the best tutorial I’ve found so far. Can’t wait to make this!

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    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing such sweet words with me! I hope you will come back and share your finished project with me! Wishing you and yours a wonderful 4th of July holiday! <3

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  12. Do you think these would be sturdy enough to hold a hammock between two of them?

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    1. Hey Michelle! I think it would depend on how much weight you put in the planters. It would be an awesome idea to try though!! I think it would work!

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  13. Michelle, I was wondering the same thing. :)

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    1. I think it would work as long as you had enough concrete in the bases to support the weight of the person using the hammock!

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  14. Doesn't the dirt around the pole slowly rot in wood?

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    1. Hi there! This is a great question! It's important to choose treated wood, but I honestly haven't found this to be an issues. I'm sure after many years, this might happen, but it wouldn't be any different than a fence. Thank you bunches for stopping by! I hope this helps!

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  15. I found this tutorial as your patio post was linked in a Country Living article. Then I googled “planted posts” to seek out more ideas. I found that DIY Network essentially stole your tutorial and made it their own. I sure hope you got credit for it! https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/patios-and-decks/how-to-make-planter-posts-for-string-lights

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    1. Yes, I've actually visited with their representative. Thanks so much for the heads' up, though. Appreciate it. xoxo

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  16. I am making a reel for a pool solar cover to make it easy to put on and take off my 18' above ground pool. I am using 2-5'×4"×4" posts and want to do the exact thing you did only would like to put heavy duty 4" wheels (4 on each barrel so it can be moved. I also only want about a bag and a half of cement. The aluminum bar and solar cover are not terribly heavy, just awkward to try to put on and take off by myself. Do you think this would work?

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    1. Gosh...I'm not 100% sure. My dad was the engineer behind this project and he recently passed away. Honestly, I would consider double reinforcing the bottoms of the barrel since they will not have the ground to support their weight...just the wheels. That would be my own thoughts on that. Let me know how it goes! xoxo

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  17. About 2 weeks ago, hubs and I had been sitting on our patio discussing what we could do to get our lights up. I came inside and found this idea posted in your email. Fast forward, we now have 2 whiskey barrels and posts up with lights hanging in place. We need to add more potting soil and our bedding plants and we will be done. We left the posts natural to age in our weather. We loved the outcome of this great idea! Thank you!

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    1. I'm so happy to hear this, Marcie! I bet it's a nice addition to your space. Thank you so much for letting me know that it worked out so well. Have a wonderful "outdoor season"! xoxo

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  18. Is the reinforcement on the bottom absolutely necessary for the brackets? I have everything I need for the project except for scrap wood and am anxious to get started! Thank you!

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    1. Goodness, I honestly would say yes...but I know that's not what you probably want to hear. My worry would be that your brackets and, ultimately, your posts, would shift once the concrete is poured and they wouldn't be level in the end. It would be a tough chance to take and it not turn out right...but, again, that's just my $.02. Hope it goes well.

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  19. Nice work! Where did you get the pretty hooks that hold up the lights?

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    1. Thank you, Liz. They were 2" plant hooks from Home Depot. xoxo

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  20. How did you attach the lights to the house - the ones that are hooked to the whiskey barrels?

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    1. We added standard plant hooks under the eaves to loop them through. Hope this helps! xoxo

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  21. How did you hook the ones that are against the house?

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    1. We added standard plant hooks under the eaves to loop them through. Hope this helps! xoxo

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  22. Good afternoon. I was wondering how y’all the whiskey barrels are you used? I saw it was 24 inches across the top. I’m looking to do the same thing. Thanks!!

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    1. Thanks so much. They were 17" tall. Hope this helps.

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  23. saw this and will try and replicate this Spring!

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    1. Thank you so much, Macie! Hope it goes well. xoxo

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  24. Hi there! Lowe's also sells resin version of these barrels. They feel pretty sturdy. Do you think it would be adequate for this kind of project? I'm thinking about screwing in the wood and adding the cement...Thoughts?

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    1. Hi Trinity-- Gosh, I really can't speak to that. I worry that resin wouldn't hold up as long as the pressure-treated barrels would...that would be my biggest concern. Sorry I'm not more help.

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  25. Do you know how long the string lights were????

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    1. I'm sorry, I don't. We moved from this house four years ago and left everything there for the new owners. My apologies.

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  26. Replies
    1. These were 8' tall. I wouldn't go too much taller so your whole piece isn't too top heavy. Hope this helps!

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  27. Thoughts about using a concrete deck block to hold the post. Would still fill with concrete around the block.

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    1. Hi David-- I can't see why that wouldn't work. It may make the barrel a bit heavier, but truly, that should work.

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  28. Hi Kristi- What are your thoughts on using this for a sail shade? I feel like this would be much easier (and cuter) than digging a hole in the ground and cementing a post.

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    1. Another reader asked that a while back, too. I am honestly not sure...with like weight and wind and all that. I apologize, but I have no experience with sail shades.

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