Trash to Treasure
Making a Planter from a Milk Crate

I can't stand to spend money on planters. They are too expensive and I'd rather recycle what I already have laying around the yard.

Recently, I wrote an article on a Many Holed Coleus Cutting Planter. Just before the article was published, I wrote to the gal that was the inspiration for the planter and she said she was thinking about trying out a milk crate, rather than drilling holes in an existing planter.

During that time, I was painting a bird cage to use in my yard as a focal structure. I saw a milk crate out of the corner of my eye and thought to myself, I already have the paint out, I'll just give it a coat of paint and then when I need it, it will be ready to use.

Original Milk Crate

This is what the original milk crate planter looked like. Pretty hideous wasnt it?

By the end of that day, the "new" milk crate looked like this: Painted Milk Crate

A few days have passed and I need to move some coleus from my Ostrich Topiary because I want to move the topiary into a full sun position. So I decided that now was the time to transplant the coleus into the milk crate.

Sphagnum MossI started out by cutting a square out of landscaping fabric that was the same size as the bottom of the milk crate. I placed it into the bottom to keep the soil from falling back out of the holes.

Bucket with Moss

Then I started soaking some sphagnum moss in a bucket of water. Here it is soaking in the bucket. I wrung out the moss and started placing it up the sides of the crate in big handfuls, pressing it against the sides as I went.

About halfway up, I filled in the center cavity with soil. Then I kept on putting the moss up the sides until I reached the handles of the milk crate. This moss will absorb moisture and provide a cooler environment for my plants than just soil alone would. It helps retain moisture.

Ostrich TopiaryOnce that was done, I moved the already rooted coleus (in clumps) from the ostrich basket to the milk crate. A few tips of the coleus broke off, so
I used a chop stick to poke some cuttings from the same plants into the sides of the milk crate.
Cuttings in the Sides
Final Results
Here is the final result. My new milk crate planter. Thank you Allison for this awesome idea!
Angled View

Oh look. Here is another milk crate.Another crate
Let me get my paints out!
Paints used: Rustoleum Brand Hammered Metal Paint - Copper
Special thanks to Onewish1 (Allison) for her awesome idea!