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How to Keep Hanging Baskets from Drying Out

“Why do my hanging baskets die?” This is a common question, and yet the answer in most cases is surprisingly simple: they are not getting enough, or a consistent amount of, water. Because the plants and flowers that are planted in hanging baskets have little room to grow, and the small amount of soil included […]

How to Prep Your House for Airbnb Guests

New to Airbnb hosting? We’ll help you prepare your home for Airbnb with this list of tips on how to make your property a haven that your guests will remember. Some of the items on these lists are “must-haves,” while others fall under the “it would be nice to offer.” But one thing is for […]

What to Plant in Window Boxes in Full Sun - Hooks & Lattice Blog

What to Plant in Window Boxes in Full Sun

Choosing the perfect collection of plants for your window boxes can be an overwhelming decision, one made even more complicated when that window box is in a full sun location. Planting window boxes that will really pop means choosing plants that can…

Bleeding Heart Plants for Shade Window Boxes

Best Plants for Shade Window Boxes

When most people think of shade loving plants, what comes to mind are boring foliage bearers and a limited selection of tired, worn out, overused flowers. This is only the beginning of what you can put in a window box, though! Shade window boxes can be amazing, intriguing and…

Hard-to-Kill Plants for Your Fiberglass Flower Boxes

As a self-proclaimed “brown thumb gardener” (somewhere between green and black), I am always looking for low-maintenance gardening tips and tricks to make my greenery look—and stay looking—great with little care. That is why I’ve compiled this list of plants and flowers that are as hardy as they are pretty, and perfect for fiberglass flower boxes.

Self-Watering Reservoirs for Window Box Planters - Easy Curb Appeal - Hooks and Lattice

Self-Watering Reservoirs: Best Kept Secret in Container Gardening

Are you searching for a simple solution for keeping your plants healthy? By using self-watering planters, you do not have to worry about regular watering. You simply fill the self-watering reservoirs for window boxes and your plants take care of the rest – remaining hydrated weeks at a time, depending on weather conditions.

Thanks to this easy-to-use container irrigation setup, you no longer need a green thumb to maintain your plant life. Read on to learn how to make DIY self-watering planters for residential or commercial use.

What is a Self-Watering Reservoir?

As the name implies, self-watering reservoirs for window boxes and planters allow your plants to absorb water as needed. They are essentially plastic containers with a tube extending from the top.

You can find them in a wide selection of sizes and shapes, to accommodate any planter. This includes our 36x8x3-inch rectangular self-watering reservoir, which fits rectangular planters. For a large square planter, we have a 24x24x3-inch reservoir – along with dozens of other options, including custom reservoirs to fit your planter.

In this educational container gardening video, Claire covers how to make any window box planter self-watering in just minutes. Click to watch or shop planter box reservoirs online.

How Do You Use Self-Watering Planters?

Self-watering planters are incredibly easy to use. They also ensure that your plants do not receive too much or too little water. You just need to choose the right size. Plants will wick moisture from the surrounding 9 inches of soil, depending on the plan and planter size. So, your reservoir should be no more than 18-inches shorter than the length of your planter, again proportional relative to size.

There are just 3 steps to using your reservoir to keep your plants hydrated:

Step 1 – Arranging Your Reservoir

First, you place a thin layer of gravel along the bottom of your planter. This will help provide drainage in the event that you add too much water. Top off the gravel with an inch or two of soil. You then set your reservoir on top of the gravel and soil layers. The included fill tube 

Step 1: Place Reservoir in Any Window Box Planter

Step 2 – Adding Soil and Plants

With your reservoir in place, you can begin adding soil. As you add soil, tamp it down, while avoiding packing too firmly. Make sure that you allow the reservoir tube to extend from the surface of your soil.

Once you add soil, you can add plants as usual. You can hide the tube, but you should ensure that you can still easily pour water into it.

Step 2: After placing the planter reservoir in your container, add soil and plants.

Step 3 – Fill Your Reservoir with Water

The final step is to fill your reservoir with water. Pour water until you can see water in the tube. Through capillary action, your plants will absorb as much water as they need. You no longer have to deal with over or under-watering.

Generally, a full reservoir should keep your plants hydrated for up to 2 weeks. This makes PlanterWell reservoirs great for residential and commercial use. Conserve water and keep plants hydrated as needed while reducing maintenance time and increasing curb appeal with beautiful containers.

Step 3: After adding soil and plants, fill reservoir with water using the PVC fill tube. There is no way to over water!

You should be able to tell when the reservoir is empty by looking through the watering tube. Shining a light down the tube could help with this process. Much like you check the oil levels of your vehicle you can also use a dowel to measure water levels. You should refill your reservoir in the mornings before the plants begin to receive their sunlight for the day for best results.

Simplify Your Plant Care with Water Reservoirs

Caring for plants is not always easy. You may forget to water them regularly or you may not have the time to keep your plants watered. For this reason, many turn to the best-kept secret in container gardening – self-watering reservoirs.

If you want to simplify the way you care for your plants, then consider using self-watering planters. You can start with a self-watering reservoir DIY project or purchase any of our durable pre-made reservoirs.

You can easily add a self-watering system to any of your existing residential or commercial planters. Browse our selection of planter reservoirs to create your own self-watering garden.

WindowBoxBeautyContest - Coming Soon! Follow Hooks and Lattice on Instagram for More Info on How to Enter

16in. Cottage Weave CUBE Self-Watering Planter

Party on the Patio with Planters

Summer is on its way and this means it is almost time to start planning outdoor cookouts, graduation parties, summer weddings, and other fun outdoor events. As you plan your party on the patio, learn how to select and arrange planters that will complement the theme of your party. Choose the perfect plant arrangement for a outdoor wedding or family barbeque. Also learn about the benefits of using self-watering planters to keep your flowers and plants looking vibrant and fresh throughout the summer. Get ready to party on the patio with planters.

Chelsea Basket w/ Outdoor Planter Stand

Picking Flowers to Complement Your Theme

Plan the perfect patio party by selecting flowers that will complement the theme of your party. Your first step is to choose flowers based on color and appearance. Think about the theme of your party. Are you planning an outdoor wedding reception? Ivory or purple roses are always a good choice. Roses also come in a wide variety of colors that you can choose from to match the colors used in the wedding. Planning a Fourth of July party? Consider getting red petunias or roses and combining with white lilies and blue hydrangeas. When choosing flowers, start by thinking about the colors and themes being used for your party. Then shop your local greenery for matching flowers and plants.

Choosing the Right Flower Planters

Pick flower boxes or outdoor planters that will best showcase the appeal of your flowers and plants. Think about the flowers you are using and the theme of your party. Fiberglass and resin planters can provide a traditional look, that is great for weddings or formal events. Metal and iron garden planters could also work well for a formal event and include a variety of modern designs that can act as a conversation starter.

Devondale Round Outdoor Planters

If you are worried about the constant care required to keep your flowers healthy, then think about using self-watering planters. Our cottage-weave mocha self-watering planters have a natural wicker look to match your patio furniture. If you are limited in space, a self-watering window box lets you bring flowers to eye-level and off the ground. Self-watering planters and window boxes let you focus on the party instead of caring for your plants.

Cottage Weave Cube Self-Watering Outdoor Planter

Arranging Your Outdoor Planters for Patios

Now that you have chosen which flowers and outdoor planters you intend to use to decorate for your party, it is time to consider how to arrange your planters. Your outdoor planters can be used to accent areas along your patio. Use a pair of Promenade tall patio planters to create an entry point for guests. Arrange smaller planters near a buffet table to draw people’s attention towards the food. Carefully consider where you want to place your planters and use them to highlight specific features or locations around your patio or yard. Your guests will naturally be drawn to the bright, vibrant colors of the flowers that you use.

White Promenade Tall Patio Outdoor Planter

Choosing the right plants and flower arrangements to go along with your patio party is not difficult. Think about the theme of your party and pick plant life accordingly. Browse our selection of self-watering planters and other outdoor planters for patios to keep your plant healthy all season long.

 

 

How to Use Planter Reservoirs to Conserve Water & Help the Environment

Water is not always a free-flowing resource, especially as we look for new forms of conservation and ways to limit our impact on the environment. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you do not waste water while keeping your plants healthy. Whether you have difficulty keeping your plants watered or want to learn new ways to help the environment, the use of self-watering planters will be beneficial. Keep reading to learn more about self-watering reservoirs and how to begin conserving water to do your part for the environment this Earth Day.

 

How to Choose a Planter Reservoir

When choosing a planter reservoir, pick from a range of sizes to fit your existing planter or contact us for custom sizes and orders, including planter reservoirs for window boxes, planter boxes, and even hanging baskets. No matter what type of plant you want to grow, you can make any container self-watering by adding one of our quality water reservoirs.

 

Setting Up a Self-Watering Reservoir

In order for your planter to properly disperse water, follow our instructions for using a planter well self-watering reservoir and look over some of the sizes we have available. This is something that any homeowner can do and setting up your self-watering planter is not a complicated task. In addition to window boxes, we also have a range of options for those wanting flowerpot reservoir inserts.

Make your flowerpots self-watering planters

Make your flowerpots self-watering planters

If you need to utilize a hanging basket for your plants, we have you covered. We have two separate options for your hanging plants – choose from a fiberglass hanging basket insert, which is a perfect match for our coconut coir basket liners, and a hanging basket planter reservoir. Both are easy to install and simple to refill.

 

Hanging basket fiberglass inserts with planter reservoirs are the best solution for hanging basket flowers.

Fiberglass inserts and planter reservoirs are the best solution for hanging basket flowers.

We also have square self-watering systems for square containers and large rounded reservoirs for larger planters. These reservoirs are installed in the same manner as the other water systems and over time you will discover that they offer a great return on investment.

 

Yet another solution for saving water and the time needed to refill your reservoir is the use of a rain catcher. These large water reservoirs can collect rain run-off from your downspouts, making the entire process hassle-free.

Rain catchers are a great way to save water and use it where you need it.

Rain catchers are a great way to save water and use it where you need it.

Save Time and Money

Having a planter reservoir can help you save time and money by limiting the amount of work needed to care for your plants on a regular basis and helping you conserve water. In some areas, recent droughts have led to water rationing and an increase in water utility rates. Save water in the garden and time needed to care for plants. As a bonus, conserving water is a great step towards limiting your use of natural resources and helping out the environment.

 

For any type of plant life, you can save water, time, and money, by using a planter reservoir. To start saving water while caring for your plant life, visit our website and take a look at our self-watering reservoirs for window boxes, planters, and hanging baskets. For custom sizes and order, feel free to contact us any time.

White window boxes set the stage for begonias, violets and euphorbias.

The Votes Are In! The Winners of the 2014 Window Box Contest Are…

You’ve waited all year to find out who the winners of the Window Box Contest for 2014 are and we have them for you! After much deliberating and deciding who should be granted the best window boxes in America, we’ve finally come to a decision. Check out the winners below, then formulate your 2015 photo contest takeover.

1st Place for Window Box on a Rail: Coming to Life: A Deck’s Transformation by Janet Sheehan

The transformation from the beginning of the season to the height of the season is just miraculous! Janet did a wonderful job making her grey patio into something that is just as beautiful as the forest behind her patio fence. Putting six flower window boxes on top of the rail creates a living wall, if you will, of falling vines and blossoming flowers once fully grown. Great job!

Jan's scalloped wood window boxes make a big impact on her deck.

Jan’s scalloped wood window boxes make a big impact on her deck.

1st Place for Window Box on a Wall: Presidential Window Box Splendor by Kevin & Annette Klingel

We must say that this has to be one of the most well thought-out home improvement projects that we’ve had the pleasure to witness. Kevin and Annette updated their entire home from top to bottom and not forgetting about the middle, added ten black window boxes to their home, garage, and shed. Using black Presidential style window boxes that match their newly painted shutters and updated roof, they contrast perfectly against the light exterior of their home for a complete transformation.

The Klingels black window boxes and matching shutters are a curb appeal knockout!

The Klingels black window boxes and matching shutters are a curb appeal knockout!

1st Place for Most Creative Window Box: Winter Decor in Boxes on Garage Wall by Cathy Litrofsky

Cathy did a fantastic job getting creative with her living wall planters! Filling a vertical wall planter, which once had succulents in it for summer, she used winter evergreens for a festive holiday look and placed these three light blue planters on a large wall of her garage that doesn’t have a window, so she improvised and made her own accent living window.  Just as a window or piece of art, these vertical wall planters bring life to what was once a boring wall.

Show Winter who's boss -  Add evergreens and pine cones for a festive display.

Show Winter who’s boss – Add evergreens and pine cones for a festive display.

The People’s Choice Award: Summer on Flora St. by Julie DeMarco LaPorta

These window box planters were definitely a favorite among everyone. With large blossoms of Violets, Begonias, and Diamond Frost Euphorbias, these window boxes are definitely the center of attention on Julie’s street which just so happens to be Flora St. As that may be a coincidence, it is not by coincidence that these window boxes won the People’s Choice as these window boxes were without a doubt, the most plentiful and beautiful.

White window boxes set the stage for begonias, violets and euphorbias.

White window boxes set the stage for begonias, violets and euphorbias.

Now that you’ve seen just how beautiful the best window boxes in America can be, it’s time to make a plan for 2015. Even if it’s cold outside, you can get started now on a window garden that can win you awesome prizes, gift cards, and special promotions from Hooks & Lattice. This year’s winners have already started their shopping sprees, entering is easy.

Here’s what to do:

  • Grab an empty planter, or shop window boxes online to select your container
  • Take a break from Facebook and plan your plantings prior to delivery
  • After the thaw, insert plantings and snap a few photos
  • You can upload your entries to the site. Click Here to go to the 2015 Window Box Contest

After you entered and your post is featured, the more you share and tell your friends the more likely you are to win. This contest doesn’t just reward amazingly beautiful window boxes – it rewards gardening socialites! So enter away or simply contact us with questions or for assistance choosing the best window box planter for you.

Sales@HooksandLattice.com | 1-800-896-0978 toll-free

Diagram of how a self watering planter works

How Do Self-Watering Planters Work?

Diagram of how a self watering planter works

Self-watering planters have a reservoir of water beneath the soil.

Watering is one of the most vital and detested chores in the garden, right after pulling long rooted, thorny weeds with your bare hands.  For container gardeners, watering has become much less of a hassle since the introduction of the newest generation of self-watering planters.  Older styles of self-watering planters weren’t much better than resting a pot in a saucer, but today’s self-watering planters contain separate water reservoirs designed to protect plant roots from excess moisture.

Benefits of Self-Watering Planters

The heat of the summer makes container gardens particularly needy when it comes to water.  The high heat, low humidity and small amount of water-trapping planting medium means that containers dry out significantly faster than garden beds.  In many areas, containers need to be watered two or three times a day, especially when vegetables are involved.  In response to this sort of problem, the reservoir system was developed to allow gardeners a break from constant watering.

Whether you’ve got a busy life that keeps you on the run or you’re a notorious under-waterer, self-watering planters will help you to grow a wider range of plants than ever before.  Depending on the size of the plant, the pot and the reservoir, you may be able to go a week or two between waterings, turning a daily chore into a weekly task.  Furthermore, self-watering containers tend to save a lot of water, since the water that isn’t used immediately by your plant is stored for later use.

How It Works

Self-watering planters have a very simple design and work on basic concepts.  A plastic, hollow platform rests in the bottom of the pot to create the reservoir.  The top of the platform is solid, with one or more holes to allow water to drain from the plant’s soil and collect underneath.  Some self-watering planters are additionally fitted with watering tubes that protrude from the top of the soil once the pot is filled with medium.  Others also have an overflow hose to prevent standing water above the platform.

The water that’s trapped below the plastic platform is dealt back to the soil through wicking, or “capillary action,” gently hydrating the growing medium.  You may find advertisements that claim your plant will get exactly the amount of water it needs from this system, but keep in mind that the self-watering pot isn’t magic. They do deal back an average amount of moisture for an average plant under most conditions.  This means that plants that need very dry conditions or those that require boggier soil won’t do well in self-watering pots, but your standard garden vegetables, annuals and many perennials are excellent self-watering container candidates.

You can purchase self-watering planters from just about any home and garden retailer, and we have quite a wide selection right here at Hooks & Lattice. If you already have a planter you love, transform it into a self-watering planter by adding a reservoir beneath the soil. You may even be able to exercise your DIY skills and create one from scratch. Whatever method you choose, your plants’ roots will draw up exactly as much water as they need, and you’ll spend less time watering and more time relaxing in the garden.