Let's start with the most popular definitions so that we may keep things as straightforward as possible.
A raised garden bed consists of a big frame that stands directly on the ground and has its bottom exposed so that it may be filled with soil. Planter boxes typically have solid bottoms and are supported by four or more legs, which raise them above the ground. You can cultivate a bountiful harvest of both food and flowers using either method, but raised beds are often more spacious and contain a greater amount of soil.
There is a good explanation for this. The wooden planter is a popular option since it is economical, simple to make, and can be assembled from easily accessible materials. Cypress, redwood, and cedar are all excellent choices for long-lasting materials.
Molded concrete or aggregate, galvanized or coated metal, combination wood and metal, and combination wood and metal are some of the other materials that are frequently utilized in outdoor settings.
Why is it a good option?
Consider the following key benefits of this option:
- Planter boxes are an excellent option for gardening in areas with limited space, as they can be placed on patios, porches, balconies, and other similar areas. They come in a wide variety of forms and dimensions, and they have the ability to make even the tiniest outdoor areas look like verdant miniature gardens.
- Ideal for gardening on concrete or other hard surfaces: Because planter boxes have legs that elevate them fully off the ground, there is a significantly reduced risk that the planter boxes will discolor the patio or the concrete. Since the water is no longer sandwiched between two surfaces, it will often evaporate rather quickly after it has drained out.
- Fewer pests will be able to access your plants because planter boxes are typically too high for ground-dwelling animals such as rabbits, moles, gophers, and other similar animals. It is possible that insect pests will still find their way into your crops, but the close proximity of the compact space makes it simpler to manage them. In planter boxes, beneficial insect management methods are quite effective.
- Planter boxes flourish in soil that is light and rich; this helps to prevent infections that are transmitted through the soil. By using a sterile container mix, you can protect your plants from the usual diseases that are linked with growth in the ground.
- Elevated planter boxes can assist in making gardening more accessible for people who have trouble bending or crouching. This makes gardening a more comfortable activity.
Getting the Best Results
Given all of these advantages, it's not hard to understand why gardeners are so fond of planter boxes. Growing plants successfully in boxes of varying sizes and configurations is thankfully not a tough task. To get the most out of your planters, though, you should give some thought to the following suggestions.
1. Soil Mix
It is recommended that you do not give in to the temptation of filling your planters with garden soil, despite the fact that doing so could be very attractive. Heavy and dense is the dirt that is used to fill in-ground garden spaces. That's not the best combo for growing things in containers.
Choose rather a sterile mix that is specifically formulated for containers and planters. These mixes will typically include compost or other organic matter in addition to components that will aerate your soil and help it remain light, materials that will improve soil filtration and the capacity of the soil to hold onto nutrients (perlite, pumice, or vermiculite), and so on. They might even be completely devoid of soil.
2. Enough drainage.
Make sure that your planter box is not watertight, and fill your planter with dirt that drains well. This will help your plants thrive. This is something that might occur if basins or watering troughs are converted into planters. The water must have a way to drain out, or else the roots of your plants could become saturated.
Planters made of wood typically include gaps at the joints where the pieces of wood come together. In situations like this, it is typically possible for water to escape. In some circumstances, more drainage will be required. The distance between drainage holes should be approximately 9 inches, and their diameter should not be any smaller than 34 of an inch.
3. The Right Size
Planter boxes in the garden provide convenience as well as diversity. Not only are there rectangular planters, but there are also planters in the shapes of an L and a U, in addition to the more common rectangles. You can also discover planters in a number of different sizes. The question that arises is, to what extent should you expand?
The most straightforward method for determining the length and width of the planter that will serve your purposes the best is to just measure the available area. If your planter is two feet or less in width, you won't need access on both sides to tend to your bed because it should be easy for you to reach across. If your planter is wider than two feet, you will need access on both sides. If the opening is any broader, you will require access from both the left and right sides.
4. The right place.
Your planter, just like any other type of garden bed, will require sufficient sunlight in order to support the growth of the plants you intend to cultivate. The majority of veggies thrive when given 6–8 hours of full sunlight each day.
Crops with more leaves, such as lettuce, arugula, kale, and Swiss chard, can withstand somewhat fewer hours of sunlight or will thrive with some dappled shade in the afternoon. Make use of a sunshine calculator or download one of the sunlight applications that are available on your mobile device in order to determine the amount of sunlight that is received at various locations on your patio or balcony.
When choosing a spot for your planter, proximity to a source of water is another factor to think about. If you are not going to be installing irrigation, you should position yourself close to your hose bib so that you do not have to carry water. When it comes to producing greens and herbs, having your planter located close to the kitchen can be really convenient.
5. Appropriate Plants
As was said earlier, there are some plant species that do not fare well in planter boxes unless the soil is sufficiently deep to support their growth and allow them to flourish. The good news is that newer varieties of plant breeds specifically developed for patio life have been making their way onto the market. There are now "patio" or "compact" versions available for the majority of the most common fruits and vegetables.