Improve the look of your new deck this spring by including some flowers and other foliage. Using the same tools you would use build a window box, you can easily create a hanging deck planter box featuring the best of spring and summer foliage.
You can either build the box yourself or purchase one from your local hobby or hardware store. Much like you might install a window box just outside your first floor window, hanging the box right off the edge of a deck rail will make the most impact visually.
You want to choose a box that has proper drainage as well as enough area for what you intend to plant. Planting a simple annual flower that will overwinter well is a great idea for these kinds of decorative boxes. Just make sure that whatever you choose to plant has the right qualities to thrive in one of these boxes and can withstand direct sunlight or lack of direct sunlight depending on your deck. Consider the color carefully as well, where oranges, pinks and reds look great from afar, purple, azure, blue, green and white are really interesting up close.
What you’ve chosen the box you want to use and the plants, complete the installation. This should be a pretty straightforward process using screws or nails, and it won’t even take that long (be careful if using a ladder though). Before you leave the hardware store, make sure to pick up the proper screws or nails for your particular deck. A hardwood deck will require wood screws, composite decking uses a special type of screw as well and so do PVC decks – just make sure the labeling of the package states where the screw can be used. You may also be able to find a color of screw that matches your deck. If you’re not sure how to get these color-matched screws, call your deck builder and ask!
After you’ve completed the actual installation, make sure to use the special soil that these plants will need. Because they will be hanging, the soil where they’re situated needs to contain peat, perlite and other ingredients to improve drainage, aeration, fertility and water-holding capacity. It might also be worthwhile to add a polymer compound into the soil, this will give the soil additional capacity for water. You can purchase these products at your local garden store, most hardware stores and big box retailers during spring.
Take extra care in the maintenance of the plants until you know how your plants are going to handle the heat, light, etc. Your plants are likely going to need to be watered daily or twice daily, depending on the type of plant, the soil you used and the weather conditions.
Installing a hanging box is a fun, easy way to really take the look of your deck to the next level and have it looking ready for spring and summer.