We recently published an article on planter boxes and their general layout - but for a quick and easy to-do list with links and tips, look no further!
Planter boxes are the mobile gardens that can bring any side of your house some new personality. If you’re living with limited space or in an urban setting, planter boxes also make great alternatives for those of you with smaller grounds to work with.
The difference between a good planter box and a stellar one has a lot to do with composition. Your choice of flowers and colours comes secondary to visual arrangement and initial wow-factor, and with an eye for design and a road-map for arrangement, your next great planter box doesn’t have to be a guessing game!
First and foremost we recommend annuals when it comes to long seasons of colour and the option of switching out species if they ever begin to look tired. From there, you can observe a few simple steps to help you turn your next planter box into a stunner:
- Use lightweight potting soil and leave close to four inches of free space from the top of your box. We recommend Pro-Mix!
- Place your taller focal plants in the back row of your box (typically two to three rows per box, but this method works for any size). You’ll ideally want one to two taller plants for every foot of your planter, equally spaced from one another. Remember, symmetry is your friend! We suggest Dracaena Spikes, Grasses, Angelonia, or Geraniums.
- If you can accommodate three rows of space in your planter box, the next row ought to house your plants of medium height. If you’re working with a smaller box, plant these types of flowers next to your taller focal pieces. A notably attractive practice is to stagger your medium flowers in between your larger ones, which creates a framed effect. Try some experimenting and see for yourself! Some great fillers to consider are Heliotropes, Lantanas, and Petunias.
- The front row of your box will typically be home to your smallest plants and/or your trailers. If you’re unfamiliar, trailers are wonderful for planter boxes because they grow out and down the front of your box, crafting an over-flowing appearance and making the space they occupy feel very green indeed. Again, it’s helpful to stagger these smaller plants and trailers so that they frame your medium ones. The Licorice vine is great for downy-leaves, and adds that much desired flow. Our favourite ‘spillers’ are Sweet Potato vine, Persian Shield, Bacopas, or Nasturtium.
- Completing your planter box is as easy as filling the rest of your open space with potting soil, and drenching the plants with water to settle them in for a long season of growth and beauty. Be attentive to your planter boxes (they’re prone to drying out quickly) and remember that the right fertilizer can really help your flowers with that extra mile of vibrancy. Some great choices for fertilizers and soil amendments would include a slow release annual plant food, Pink Vigoro Organic Based All-Purpose Fertilizer 8-12-6, Gaia Green Organic Power Bloom Fertilizer, or water retaining gel crystals.
For a great visual walkthrough, check out this video at Proven Winners, and as always, happy gardening!