Planter boxes can do wonders for your garden and make it look beautiful, even if your garden isn’t very tall. Furthermore, you can plant anything in them, from flowers to fruit and veg, and the slugs, snails and other land-based pests will have a harder job reaching them.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use outdoor planter boxes correctly and how to get the best from them.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SOIL
It might be tempting to use garden soil for your outdoor planter boxes but this is actually a bad idea. Garden soil is far too heavy and dense to put in a planter box as it will become waterlogged. It also doesn't contain the correct minerals and nutrients.
A good sterile mix that is specifically designed for planters and containers is ideal. This will be light and therefore aerated. It will also allow water to filter through nicely without becoming too soggy.
Sterile mixes normally contain a range of substances including coconut fibre, shredded bark, pumice, vermiculite and compost, among other things.
CHECK FOR DRAINAGE
As much as your soil needs to drain, it is also important that the outdoor planter boxes can drain too. The last thing your plants will need is soaking-wet roots for days on end.
Wood planter boxes are very popular as they are porous and often have naturally occurring draining slots. However, if you find your planter box doesn't have drainage holes then you will need to drill some into the bottom. This is fairly simple and can be done with a regular drill.
DECIDE ON YOUR PLANTS
Outdoor planter boxes are elevated, so they are often ideal for plants you're keen to showcase. Alternatively, they can be good to grow fruit and vegetables because their height keeps them further away from pests.
Plants that need to put their roots down a long way are unlikely to be ideal for outdoor planter boxes.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT OUTDOOR PLANTER BOXES
Outdoor planter boxes are highly adaptable and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. It really comes down to your personal taste, your budget, and your space.
If you measure your garden or patio then this will help you decide how big you want your outdoor planter boxes and how many you need. Remember, if your planter box is too wide, you will need to have access to both sides of it in order to tend to your plants.
You also need to know what plants you plan on using. Some plants grow near the surface and therefore it doesn't matter too much about how deep your outdoor planter boxes are. Some, however, like to put down their roots and therefore some depth is important.
Look at the rest of your garden and think about what style of planter boxes will fit in too. There is no point in using ultra-modern ones if the rest of your garden is rustic, for example.
FIND A NICE SPOT FOR YOUR OUTDOOR PLANTER BOXES
Plants need the same things whether they are in the ground or a box. If your plants are the kind that will thrive in a shady corner of the garden, then position the box somewhere sheltered from the sun. However, if your plants of choice require warmth and sunshine beating down on them as much as possible, then again, you need to position the box accordingly.
Another possible thing to consider is your proximity to water. Can your hose reach the box okay if you need to water it? If not, how far do you need to carry the watering can?
If you're looking to buy outdoor planter boxes then we can help. We have a wide range of planter boxes to suit your needs and are happy to offer our expertise.