Seattle, WA: Brandon and RebeccaEclectic Patio, Seattle
Sarah Greenman © 2012 Houzz
BTC: My favorite thing about our neighborhood is that it's close to the action of the city, without being right in the middle of it. Our street is actually pretty quiet, but you can see the bustle just two blocks away. We can stroll outside without much noise or distraction, but we can find a busy city playground quickly as well.
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4. Line the crate. Depending on what type of wooden box you have, and how you would like to use it, you will most likely need to add a liner before planting. Crates with large gaps between the boards need a liner to stop soil and water from running straight out of the crate. Solid boxes don’t need a liner to prevent soil loss, but they can benefit from a plastic liner (with holes at the base for drainage) to act as a moisture block to prevent rotting.Use heavy-duty plastic (punching some holes at the bottom for drainage), landscape fabric, burlap or a combination of a heavy-duty plastic and burlap to line the entire interior of the crate. Cut it to size and staple or nail it in place. The advantage of using a plastic liner (on its own or in combination with burlap) is that it will help retain water inside the soil reservoir and prevent the wooden container from rotting. Plastic liners may not make sense for growing veggies in full sun, where there could be a risk of leaching into the soil. Burlap looks nice between the gaps but lasts only for a season before needing to be replaced.
How to Plan Your Patio or Deck GardenGet good containers. The bigger the container, the better: Larger containers retain water longer and allow plants to develop stronger root systems. If you’re crafty or on a budget, consider upcycling materials like wine boxes or food storage totes with holes drilled in the bottom. Just make sure the wood hasn’t been treated and the container is food-safe. If you’re looking for a more elegant solution, consider cedar or fiberglass planters, which will last for years. Keep in mind that ceramic or terra-cotta planters, while attractive and inexpensive, can dry out quickly and crack in freezing temperatures. Make sure that your containers have adequate drainage holes. Get a good growing medium. Container gardens should always be planted in a specially designed potting mix. Unlike garden soil, potting mix is specially blended for moisture retention and is lightweight. Purchase the best-quality organic potting mix you can find, or mix your own. Look for a peat-moss-free potting mix, as peat moss is a nonrenewable resource. Vegetables are heavy feeders. Add a sprinkling of granulated slow-release organic fertilizer at the time of planting, and follow up with monthly additions of organic liquid fertilizer designed for vegetables.
7. Planter box. This is a brilliant use of these crates. I could add some casters and move them around to keep them in the sun. I could turn one over and make a bench-seat planter. The pine has no harsh chemical treatment, which is important when growing edible plants. I'm sure a liner is required.
Upcycled wine boxes create an edible garden on the tiny balcony. The family grows a host of lettuces, root vegetables, herbs and tomatoes. "My favorite thing about Seattle is the combination of its greenery and proximity to the water," says Brandon. "It always feels fresh here somehow. You can get a beautiful view from just about anywhere."