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!
Containers Need Drainage
Container gardening will only be successful if your planter has adequate drainage holes. Without oxygen in the root zone, the roots will ‘drown’ and the plants will die.
Gutter Gardens™ have a series of drainage holes every 4-5”. Those holes are covered by lightweight landscape fabric to hold in the potting mix. Occasionally the filter is clogged by fine potting mix. Just stick a needle or toothpick up through the bottom holes if the planter isn’t draining properly.
For most vegetables and many flowers, your Gutter Garden™ will need at least five hours of direct sunlight each day, and many plants will benefit from even more.
The Gutter Garden™ color you select is something to consider.. If your location has all day full sun, you may want to consider using a white Gutter Garden™ to help protect the roots. Darker colors may absorb more heat so they are ideal with partial sun/shade locations. However, the color scheme of your house is also a key factor...so select the color that works best for your situation. I have had full sun on my black Gutter Garden™ window boxes, and they did beautifully. Keep in mind that these are annual flowers…as long as you water them regularly, they will thrive and look gorgeous for their short life span.
Container Planters Need Adequate Sunshine
The amount of sunlight needed by plants varies depending on the varieties grown. Watering: Whenever a plant grows outside of the ground, sufficient watering is always an issue. In a hot, sunny location, container plants lose moisture quickly. Aluminum (material used in Gutter Gardens™) is not porous, so moisture does not evaporate as quickly as many other planters. Never-the-less, some plants will need to be watered daily, especially during hot, dry weather.
We have found that impatiens do great in Gutter Gardens™ that have a lot of shade. Begonias also do well in shade. Annual sun loving plants include sweet potato vine, wave petunias, vinca flowers, creeping jenny and geraniums. Many herbs and lettuces love the son and have ample root space in the Gutter Garden™. Be sure to check out the pictures on this website that show Gutter Gardens™ in various settings. Your local nursery may be able to help you select just the ‘right’ plants for your Gutter Gardens™. Follow planting directions that come with the plant. Actually, I tend to crowd them a little and have had good results. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for specific questions about particular plants or sun requirements.