how to build the perfect planter box

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How To Build the Perfect Planter Box

Here in the pacific northwest we usually wait until May to begin planting our garden boxes.  Until then, the weather is dicey and we can still get cold nights that might hurt our flowers.  That said, the first warm weekend there is always a rush to our local nursery to pick up annuals or what I like to call summer flowers.

We live in a forested area with lots of indigenous flowers, trees, and ferns so there’s no need to plant in that area.  We do have a sitting area in front and on our deck in the back that’s  perfect for a hanging basket and containers of herbs and flowers.  My favorite garden boxes are the self watering variety.  These containers conserve water and allow you to be away from your plants for a few days and not worry about them drying out.

Try a self-watering garden box

A self watering garden box creates a reservoir of water at the bottom of the container.  Once the plant takes root it’s able to reach down and get water when it needs it.  To plant your garden box, begin with a layer of rock or bark at the bottom of the container.  Add organic planting soil to the container and then plant your flowers.

Filling a planter box

Use a variety of plants to add interest.  Consider texture, size, and color.  Place your largest plant towards the back or corner of the container. Next add  filler.  Consider color and fragrance particularly if the container will be near the door. Finish your container with pretty foliage and vines that will spill out and over your container as they grow.

Be generous with your planting

When removing your plant from its original container, gently shake off any excess dirt.  This will allow more room in your container for plants.  It’s important to add lots of flowers and foliage to your container to make it look full and beautiful!

Single species containers

If you have a small area or don’t want to invest in a planter box, try planting a few small containers, each with it’s own flower.  I like doing this with herbs and lavender.

Get help when you need it

If you are lost in the world of gardening, ask for help.  Go to a nursery rather than a hardware store.  The plants are healthier and there are lots of opportunities to take classes and learn more about gardening.

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