Attach a Window Box on Brick/Concrete
Window Boxes are so popular as we all want to increase curb appeal. Standing up to garden can be done! Using a level, mark the location on the brick sill or concrete wall where you want to mount the Gutter Garden(s) as a raised bed .
- Take into consideration the amount of sun you will get at that location when selecting plants. Put it in a place where it will be easy for you to water, dead-head and where drainage will not damage items below.
Carefully mark where the back holes on the planter are on to the surface where you want to hang them. The enclosed tap-cons are the only really adequate screws to use on concrete or brick walls. Two end holes are the most important and need the longer ( 1 ¾”) tap-con screws. The other, shorter screws ( 1 ¼ “) can be spaced every 8-10 inches. Ideally another person is useful to hold the planter in place when making markings for the holes…or you may want to use tape or some kind of strap. Measure twice and drill once. I often slightly begin drilling holes so I can see that they are lining up with each other while remaining level. The planter itself will cover any miss-drilled holes!
Drill ‘pilot holes’ using the special masonry drill bit with a hammer drill to complete this task. Before I bought my own, I would rent one and the drill bits are generally available at the rental place. Drill the holes at least ¼ inch deeper than length of the screw itself. Use a can of compressed air (the kind w/ the red straw that lets you blow off dust from electronics) to blow out the concrete dust. It is very important that the hole is drilled longer than the screw you are using…so perhaps make a mark on that red straw to be sure the holes are deep enough.
Accurately drilling the holes is the most tedious part, but once the holes are lined up and the screws are tightly in, they will never come out! Use the tap-cons included with your purchase for a very secure raised bed gardens. You’ll receive enough tap-cons and washers to secure your planter/ window box to any type of masonry or brick.
Enclosed are brackets to install with planters longer than 36 inches while you are putting in the screws. Hook it on to the front edge and placing the screw into the back hole of the bracket and then into the pre-drilled hole in the concrete surface. The brackets should be approx. 20-22 inches from each end. These brackets will help keep the integrity of the shape because when the planter is full of wet soil, it may tend to splay/bulge.
How To Add Plants
Each foot length of planter requires approx. 3 quarts of POTTING MIX for a 6” wide planter and over 6 quarts per foot for the 8” wide Gutter Gardens. Do not use topsoil or garden soil. Put in about two inches of good quality potting mix (the best ones already have moisture control and plant food). Level it and water it thoroughly. Add another 2 inches and repeat…being sure that the soil is fairly saturated. If you are going to install an existing plant, now may be the time to begin to plant them. You can insert potting mix up to bottom of the back holes. Consider leaving a little room and put pre-moistened mulch around the plants to help keep the moisture in.
If you are growing from seed, follow the directions on the packet. If planting seed, be sure the planter is completely full of potting mix (up to the bottom of the back holes) that has been completely saturated…this will give you a level start and provide maximum room for root growth.
Helpful Raised Bed Gardening Hints:
- Use a spout watering can to direct the water where it needs to go.
- For a 6” wide planter, select the small six-pack of plants…up to a 4” nursery pot. For an 8” wide planter, you may select up to a 6” nursery pot. Go ahead and crowd them together. They are annuals and will find a way to survive the entire season!
- After about 2 months, begin using water soluble plant food each time you water.
- If, after a hard rain, the raised bed planter looks like a swamp, take a pin or needle and punch up from the bottom holes. Sometimes the fine soil materials clog the drainage holes.
Detailed directions come with your purchase!
How to plant a Gutter Garden™
Once the Gutter Garden™ is securely attached, you can begin to plant! Most annuals, many herbs and greens (lettuces, kale, and spinach) are successful in the depth of this 6 inch wide planter. Not recommended for planting bulbs. Consider filling up to within ¼ inch of the bottom of the back holes (remember, the soil will compact when water is added). Once the plants are in and the potting mix has settled to the maximum height, you may want to add mulch between the plantings to reduce watering needs.
Each foot of length for a (6” inch wide) gutter garden requires about 3.5 dry quarts of potting mix. (for example, if you purchase a 36” long Gutter Garden™, you will use almost 11 dry quarts of potting mix. Be mindful that each brand has unique characteristics so fill amounts may vary). Be certain to use a soil medium that is designed for containers. Do not be tempted to use top soil or garden soil. Feel free to use organic potting mix or potting mix that contains moisture amendments.
Fill the bottom with about two or three inches of potting mix and water completely (until water drains from the bottom holes). Then gently add your plants and fill in with potting mix. Consider ‘spillers’ such as sweet potato vines or ‘creeping jennies’ between the flowers. Be mindful of the sun requirements for your plants. Many Gutter Gardeners have seen success by placing plants in a staggered way as opposed to in a straight line. If you are planting seeds, fill to near the bottom of the back holes and follow directions on the seed packets.
- If the planter has problems draining, poke a straight pin up through the bottom holes. This sometimes occurs when small potting mix particles clog the bottom filter.
- Gutter Gardens™ are hand made with riveted end-caps and a food grade caulk…so safely grow your own herbs and veggies…be as organic as you wish.
- Some plants are aggressive so cut them back hard to allow other plants to thrive and get sunlight.
Outsmart the Rabbits with Raised Bed Gardening
Gutter Gardens™ is one of the best raised bed gardening systems there is! And it helps defeat the damage done by deer and rabbits. Mount these planters on a balcony or deck railing; or as a window box planter and you will outsmart those rabbits and deer and enjoy growing edibles or flowers without the hassles. Gardening is so worthwhile. So many pleasures to smell, feel or taste. And so easy to install!!!
We no longer need tractors or rotor-tillers. We can grow amazing things in containers. Planters have been used for centuries. They keep improving and now, with the introduction of Gutter Gardens™, they just keep getting better and easier. The standard raised bed system consists of some kind of frame that sits on the ground, is filled with soil and then planted. This system is particularly successful in growing vegetables that require a great deal of root depth (like tomatoes and corn). I have been using the standard raised bed for years and will continue to do so. BUT I still have issues with the critters in my yard (mainly squirrels, rabbits, deer, raccoons and just recently I have seen a possum!). If possible, put up fences to try to thwart them.
For growing most annual flowers, lettuces, kale, spinach, and many different kinds of herbs, getting the garden UP, off of the ground works best. The rabbits and slugs cannot reach them. Local dogs can’t lift a leg on them, either!
Outsmart the Critters
Another good trick to discourage these animals from helping themselves to your bounty is to apply cayenne pepper to the leaves and produce in the morning when there is still moisture/dew…Just remember to repeat this every few days and after a rainfall. One chomp of something with cayenne pepper on it will change their minds quickly! Remember not to get the cayenne pepper in or near your own eyes!! STAND UP and GARDEN !!!
What Container Planters work on Decks and Balconies?
A very popular method of container planters are coco-lined garden planters which have been around for a long time. I have used them and had semi-success in plant stands on the front porch. They never worked well on my deck because my rails were not suitable for level mounting. So, shortly after planting, the potting mix began falling out to the patio below. The brackets that came with them never seemed secure in holding so much weight. Because safety is so paramount…we came up with a completely safe method
of hanging planters using stainless steel cable ties to securely hang Gutter Gardens™.
Then, I noticed that some birds were using the materials for nesting…so even more dirt fell out. Because they are so porous, they demanded water more often than less porous planters. By the end of the season, they looked like this picture! What a mess.
Container planters can be made of various materials such as terra cotta, concrete, plastic or resin. Since we want to Stand Up and Garden, these planters can be placed on a shelf or table on the deck/balcony. Keep in mind that weight determines the ability to move the planter around. Also, remember that the UV rays from the sun will degrade plastic and resin and make them brittle/breakable.
Gutter Gardens will never break, fade, fall, crack or disappoint! These planters are uniquely designed to hang in a level, secure manner. So easy to install, too. Take a look at some pictures on this website, You will be amazed at how utterly wonderful Gutter Garden planters are!