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Fieldstone, or brick, planters

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Aug 27, 2013, 02:41 PM
Fieldstone, or brick, planters
If I wanted to adapt this design to make a brick planter, would I have to dig down to frost line and pour footings? (I'm in SE Michigan, zone 5, generally)

Fieldstone planter

If excavation is involved, I'd rather just pile up the bricks and make a temporary planter. I assume though that there would be an issue with stability. I'm thinking that once the planter is packed with soil it might be more solid? Or would the pressure of the soil push outward on the bricks?

Another option is to create a tightly woven wattle fence and just stack the brick around it; in this case they wouldn't have any pressure from the soil.

Wattle structures


This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Aug 30, 2013, 03:44 PM
No need to dig below frost line or install a footer. I would dry stack brick or stone on a level bed of crushed stone and sand. If the freeze-thaw cycle creates some movement, it is no big deal to re-do that section of the wall. Make sure you put adequate drainage against the inside of the walls and under the planting soil. That will help minimize the freeze-thaw effect. I doubt if a wattle fence would do much good in keeping the brick or stone in place. If the elements move the stone, they'll move the wattle.
Aug 31, 2013, 08:42 PM
Joe, thanks for the response and suggestions.

I did some research about the depth of the base, mixture, etc., to follow your suggestion, and so far I've found that the base should be about 6". Of course, I found some level of disagreement as well.

Is there a ratio of crushed stone to sand for the bed?

I also read that pipe should be installed as drainage. Would this be a connected system around all of the interior walls? I always double dig any area I plant so there would be good drainage for the interior of the planterm but I guess that wouldn't be enough, especially for a zone 5 area? (I'm located at about a 5 hour's drive South of your area.)

I've been thinking that instead of a closed planter bed I'll make it open and use it to hide the compost pile.

Thanks for taking the time to offer suggestions. Smile
Sep 03, 2013, 02:30 PM
If you're going down 6", I would use 4" of crushed stone (roughly 1/2" x 1/2" in size) compacted, then add sand. If you water the sand, some of it will fill the gaps in the gravel, then continue to add sand until you get to grade. If you're in SW MI, the soil should be sandy enough that you shouldn't have to worry about extra drainage.
Sep 05, 2013, 05:18 PM
Joe, thanks for the info. I'm actually on the other side of S Michigan, with predominantly clay soil in some places and sand in others, but there is good drainage in the soil.

Appreciate your help! Smile