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Simple Ground Level Planter with an Irrigation Fix

03 October 2022

OK… so, I have a bit of a plant collecting addiction. Since this addiction may be in my genes and my partner has condoned it thus far, I am going to make a hobby of it! I recently bought my plain concrete box home in October and have been making my own little modifications to it here and there to add some color and personality.

I have been hitting the plant sales at Lowe’s HARD… I mean, when you can get beautiful plants for a dollar, you have to go for it, right?! Anyways, these plants were tired of living in their black plastic home improvement store containers and were ready to get in the ground.

Since these plants are mostly for visual appeal and I do not have tons of room at the front of the house, I decided to do a ground level planter. In Florida, the soil is not nice and rich to just plant much of anything straight into the ground, so, even at ground level, I knew I would need a massive amount of good dirt. I used the trailer to pick up compost from local waste facility for $10.65 per cubic yard. People! Check out your city and county resources before buying 1,000 bags of soil from the store! Ten bucks a load for some great quality rich soil is a steal.

Before shoveling out the compost, I first put down cardboard to prevent weeds and grass from growing all over. Hoarding is not one of my most attractive traits, but it does come in handy in times like these. Who else is hanging on to some "nice"boxes? I can’t be the only one :)

Then, I went looking for the right border for my planter… This may have been the most complicated part. I wanted something decorative, simple to install, and inexpensive. The one thing that was not on my checklist for a border was durability/quality, unfortunately. If I could go back and change anything, my border would be it. While it is cute, very simple to install, and fairly inexpensive, it kind of just falls over in places and likely will not last for long.

After two or three trips to get dirt (well worth it), we were in business! I got my plants in the ground and threw in a few pavers to step on when weeding.

After rushing through this process (an occasional flaw of mine when I want to accomplish something), I realized the house did not have a level ground level across the front. You should be able to see this clearly in the picture above and the video below. This is another thing that I should have addressed before installing the border and planting the plants. I built up the corner a little built with soil but not as much as I should have. To me, this issue seemed to be a mere visual issue and was not too concerned about it until I wanted to install a bit of irrigation. I bought three soaker hoses to wind throughout the planter but the water did not want to flow well uphill…

My solution here is kind of a plan B to just better preparation to begin with. I just mounded the soil differently to cheat gravity. Check out the video below.

Some important take-aways: 1. Keep buying plants that need love. 2. A little hoarding is OK. 3. Have a solid visual, structural, and functional plan going in. 4. Buying CUTE crap doesn’t make it less crappy. 5. CHECK LOCAL RESOURCES! 6. Don’t forget to have fun!

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