When you build or purchase the planter boxes make sure that the container is large enough to hold plenty of soil. Plants will always struggle and dry out if there is less soil than they need.
- Build or purchase planter boxes according to your particular requirements. Choose a wood that holds up well such as cedar, cypress or pre-treated wood. If you use pre-treated wood be sure to line boxes with plastic if you plan to plant vegetables, herbs or anything else edible.
- Line planter boxes with plastic to prevent rotting.
- It is important that your planter boxes drain well. To create drainage, drill a one inch hole every foot at the bottom of the box.
- To further improve drainage elevate the boxes with a few two by two boards attached to the bottom.
- Finally to keep the excess water from running out and staining surfaces such as your deck, install a piece of pipe that will run through and down below the deck.
When it comes to soil for containers, you don't want to fall into the trap of thinking you can just go into the back yard and dig up some soil. Garden soil is generally heavy and it doesn't drain well. It is best to use pre-blended mixes in bags. These are easier to work with and there's no weed seed in them. These blends are designed to be lighter. The coarse organic material in perlite and vermiculite create air spaces. And peat moss and other forms of humus help retain moisture. And if you ever try to install and support a window box, you'll be thankful for this lightweight mix.
When you garden in containers you'll discover that you have to be a little more attentive to feeding. Frequent watering will flush out many of the nutrients. That's why it is a good idea to have plenty of liquid fertilizer on hand.