DIY Sturdy Planted Posts |i should be mopping the floor

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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 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 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?


Neglect your chores like me and don't miss a thing:
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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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.

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

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

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

    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!

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

    3. Hope they turn out great for you!

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

    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.

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

    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.