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.

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Start Planning Your Spring Gardening with Water Reservoirs and Fiberglass Planters

Start Planning Your Spring Gardening with Water Reservoirs and Fiberglass Planters

Before the weather warms up and Spring arrives, you may want to get a head start on your gardening plans. Make sure that your window boxes and planters are ready to go. This way, when the time comes, you will have one less task to deal with.

Find out how to bring new life and curb appeal to your property by replacing worn window boxes or converting existing planters into self-watering planters or deck railing planters. Read more

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.

Metal Window Boxes on Bavarian Style House

Planting Spring Flowers for Wonderful Window Boxes

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to look past the dreary days of winter and towards the colorful days of spring flower gardens. Spring is a great time to grow a variety of plants, especially in window boxes. Instead of worrying about plants being eaten by roaming animals or destroyed by fierce storms, you can keep them close and secure and enjoy them right outside your window. Window boxes are a fantastic way to spruce up your curb appeal and add a garden oasis in a small space. No matter your climate or style, here are some window box ideas.

The general rule of thumb for planting a window box is to have plants at all different heights. Start with taller “thriller” plants in the back, them plant mid-sized “fillers” in the middle and hanging or low “spillers” in the front for a complete look. Search for flowers that fit these categories for a stunning flower box planter.

Metal Window Boxes on Bavarian Style House

Arch Cage Wrought Iron Window Boxes on Bavarian Style House

Cool Climates

Before deciding what flowers to plant, look up your area’s U.S. Department of Agriculture zone number. These numbers correspond with different plants to make sure you get plants that will survive and thrive in your climate. For cooler areas with zones 1-5, stick with hardy plants like pansies, primroses, and violas as your mid-size “fillers”. Crocuses are hardy flowers with beautiful purple flowers that make a great filler addition to a window box. Add height to your window box with grape hyacinth or sweet pea and use spiller plants like alyssum to hang over the window box. A sturdier window box like this lined option will keep your plants warm and safe.

Warmer Climates

Gardeners in warmer climates tend to have a few more options when it comes to spring window box flowers. Classic flowers like daffodils and snapdragons make great tall thrillers, while bright dwarf irises, petunias, and verbena work well for the mid-level fillers. Anemones have stunning white flowers and do best in mild to warmer climates for an unexpected burst of white. Use spillers like creeping phlox for a burst of color or dusty miller or sweet potato vine for a more neutral color scheme. Look for a window box that accentuates the colors of your spring flowers and the style of your home, such as this wrought iron cage or other stylish metal window planter options. Window boxes look great in every style of home or garden.

What are you planting this year? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

Use window planter reservoirs for container gardening success.

2015’s Top 6 Gardening Resolutions and Trends

It’s that time of year again, the time for making resolutions. Whether your resolutions are to get to the gym more, go to sleep earlier, or save more money, we’ve complied a couple resolutions that will still fall in line with the classic ones and a couple that that will be trending in the New Year.

Here are 2015’s Top 6 Gardening Resolutions & Trends:

  1. Get outside more. Take a walk around your building at lunch, walk around the block with your family after dinner, or do a little spring prep in the garden to ensure for a prosperous garden come springtime. Try container gardening if you’re in a region of the country where it’s just too cold to be outside right now. Window boxes with a cleat hanging system make perfect containers for small space gardening. Plant whatever your heart desires (keep in mind the small space), keep the box inside until it’s warmer outside, and then hang it below your window once it’s warm enough outside. Click Here to find out When and How to Start Seeds Indoors.
Egg carton and egg shells with young plants

Do-it-yourself seed starting in eggshells! Image from Hew and Sew.

  1. Use new gardening tools. If you’re an avid gardener or you’re just starting out, gardening tools are you best friends. Start off the New Year with new gardening tools. They’ll be all clean and shiny and you’ll want to get in the garden and yard ASAP to break them in. This is also a great time of year to order your garden trellises so they’re ready to use when you buy plants in the Spring.
Sign up for our email list and we'll deliver can-do curb appeal tips right to your inbox!

Sign up for our email list and we’ll deliver can-do curb appeal tips right to your inbox!

  1. Improve your home’s curb appeal. This is a biggie. You’re lucky if this can be accomplished in one afternoon, but for the rest of you, this will be an ongoing but incredibly rewarding project! All it takes is some motivation (like seeing a gorgeous house on Pinterest), dedication, and a plan. You can improve your home’s curb appeal by simply mowing the grass, trimming the grass along the sidewalk, and pruning bushes and trees. But if you really want to differentiate your home from all the other houses on the block, think about installing exterior window shutters, window boxes, or flanking your front door with planters with tall topiaries. Click Here to meet Sage, she’s our curb appeal expert. Follow us on YouTube and we’ll let you know when she has her next curb appeal tips video!

  1. Try new plants. This may seem daunting as you are probably very comfortable in your current flower/plant situation. But isn’t that was the New Year is all about, trying something different? Add a more colorful arrangement of flowers to your planters, mix it up with different heights and densities of plants, and plant some veggies that you’d like to cook up later to go along with the next resolution.
"A Cheerful Hello" - WindowBoxContest.com Entry

“A Cheerful Hello” – WindowBoxContest.com Entry

  1. Eat healthier. This one can be a little difficult for those of you that work from sun up to sun down but there are small and also very affordable ways you can make small changes that will make a huge difference later. You can grow your own herbs in your kitchen. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love fresh basil and mint? With container gardening, you can even grow mushrooms, tomatoes, and micro greens right on your countertop. Click Here to view seed starters and tabletop grow boxes.
This should spice things up!

This should spice things up!

  1. Save more money. Isn’t this something everyone strives for in the New Year? You can accomplish this multiple ways this year. Save money on your water bill by using planter reservoirs in your pots and hanging baskets so you never need to worry about over or under watering your plants. You can also save money on your water bill by planting drought-tolerant plants that naturally require less water. Dramatically reduce your grocery expenses by growing your own herbs, veggies, tomatoes, and lettuce. You can even plan ahead and start growing your own lemon tree for delicious citrus in the coming years! Click Here to view planter reservoirs.
    Use window planter reservoirs for container gardening success.

    Use window planter reservoirs for container gardening success.

    You can shop all of these great gardening solutions at www.HooksandLattice.com, or simply pick up the phone and call us for guidance: 1-800-896-0978.

 

Group containers filled with colorful perennials to maximize seasonal decor.

Best Containers for Perennial Success

Group containers filled with colorful perennials to maximize seasonal decor.

Group containers filled with colorful perennials to maximize seasonal decor.

Best Containers for Perennial Success

If you want the beauty of fresh plants without the trouble of planting new seeds and starters each year, perennials are the way to go. These plants come in a huge variety of options and keep growing, year after year. Perennials are perfect plants for containers, but choosing the right planter is key to perennial container gardening success. Here are a few things to look for:

Size

Perennials tend to have larger root systems than annuals, so size is a very important factor in determining container gardening success. Larger pots also give perennials room to “overwinter”, or last multiple seasons, because the larger amount of soil and roots protects the plants from freezing conditions. Pay close attention to plant tags when choosing your perennials. Consider how big the plant will be at its fullest, and pay special attention to planting depth. For plants that don’t require as much root room, a shorter container such as this Lattice Premier Planter will work. If you are planting larger perennials that need room to grow, opt for something like the Laguna Premier Planter.

Drainage

Pick a container for perennials that has at least one hole for drainage so the roots get some air circulation and don’t rot. More holes can be better for some plants, but don’t pick a container with too many holes or the plant will lose all nutrition from the water. The material can also play a big role in how a container holds water. Plastic containers are lightweight and tend to hold moisture well. Clay pots can be more attractive but may not hold water as long if they aren’t glazed or sealed. A good alternative is an imitation or composite resin pot, like these Eloquence Tall Resin Planters, that are lightweight and hold water well.

Style

Perennial flowers containers should compliment the style of your home and the flowers in the pot. Consider the look you are going for; if it is a sleek, modern look opt for a container like the Devondale Round Planter. A more traditional style garden would work well in a container like the Fieldfare Planter. Perennials do well mixed together in large containers or separately. A grouping of small containers like the Glendon Tapered Round Planters is a trendy and stylish option to showcase plants in a way that can be rearranged and moved. Remember than perennials in containers can thrive for years, so pick a container you will be happy with for years to come.

The good thing about perennials is that they are generally hardy plants. If you feel overwhelmed trying to find the perfect container for perennials, experiment a bit until you find one that fits your needs. You plants can always be moved from one to another. For more information and resources on perennials, visit the Perennial Plant Association. Soon you will be on your way to a beautiful container garden year after year.

The sulfur compounds in garlic make it a tasty ingredient and great way to lower your blood pressure.

Growing Garlic in Containers

There aren’t many scents more delicious than garlic-laden food simmering in your kitchen. This bulbous plant is used around the world as a seasonings and condiment. Its popularity has made it a staple in modern grocery stores and specialty markets.

Still, store-bought garlic can’t compare to fresh garlic grown right in your own home. Garlic is a very hardy plant that can even be grown in the winter, so you and your family can enjoy its savory goodness all year long. Growing garlic is similar to cooking with garlic, because both beginning chefs and seasoned cooks can excel at it. And here’s the best part: when you’re growing garlic in containers, no garden is necessary.

The Best Containers for Growing Garlic

No matter what container your select, make sure that it can withstand long exposure to sunlight. Here are two that are perfectly suited for the task.

Tinley ceramic planters. Designed with a tree-bark texture, these planter pots come in black, white, or brown. They are 13″ in both diameter and height, so they’re compact enough for any area of your kitchen, windowsill, or patio.

– Vertical garden with containers. This multi-use product can be used to grow garlic or virtually any herb or seasoning you could imagine. The tough fir frame holds 16 small terra cotta pots that are as cute as they are functional.

The sulfur compounds in garlic make it a tasty ingredient and great way to lower your blood pressure.

The sulfur compounds in garlic make it a tasty ingredient and great way to lower your blood pressure.

How to Grow Garlic

If you’re not sure about what variety of garlic to plant, DigginFood has some great tips about selecting local garlic varieties.

Step 1: Choose a high-quality potting soil. Garlic is known to develop root fungus when grown in subpar soil. Fill your container with your soil, leaving approximately two inches of space at the top.

Step 2: Select the largest cloves and break them apart. Make sure not to break the paper-like wrapper that encases each clove. Plant them 3″ deep within the soil, and 5″ apart from each other. Fill each hole back up with soil, leaving 1″ between the tip of the clove and the surface.

Step 3: Gather straw or bamboo. During cold months, cover your garlic with these materials to keep them warm. Remove them immediately when the weather heats back up.

Step 4: Wait for your garlic to grow. Keep the soil moist at all times. Begin fertilizing it every three weeks with a liquid fertilizer.

Step 5: Harvest. When the bottom third of the leaves have yellowed, it’s time to pick your garlic!

There is an endless amount of recipes you can prepare with garlic. From sauces to meat, your home-grown garlic is sure to be a hit with your family, friends, and guests.

 

Photo: EcoLibrary

Railing Window Boxes on a Brownstone in New York City

Drip Irrigation for Window Boxes

Irrigation Through the Ages

When it came to irrigation, the farmers of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Rome had geography on their side. Civilizations have always sprung up around large bodies of fresh water because of the fertile farmland they produce.

Today’s farmers have invested their resources into modern, high-tech irrigation systems that provide hydration to crops being grown across plains, mountains, and even deserts. Urban farmers aren’t lucky enough to have access to large tracts of land, or proximity to the undisturbed freshwater lakes and rivers that make irrigation simpler for traditional farmers.

The Benefits of Drip Irrigation

Growing fruits, vegetables and flowers in your window box can feel like a daunting task if you haven’t done this before. Window box planters are made from artificial containers that don’t allow for proper water drainage. Hot climates, especially in cities, make shallow soil dry out faster. This is especially true when your window box is exposed to direct sunlight.

Railing Window Boxes on a Brownstone in New York City

Drip irrigation has revolutionized urban farming
 The balcony drip kits listed below are perfect for beginners and seasoned farmers alike.

The solution? Look no further than drip irrigation. This form of irrigation allows water to slowly drip into the roots of your plants. Water application efficiency becomes very high, and your foliage itself can remain dry. Below are three of the top drip irrigation systems for flower boxes on the market.

  • Balcony drip kit with variable timer. This is an excellent irrigation choice for urban farmers who grow in a variety of different containers in the same vicinity. The circuit system can be set up to water window box planters, flower pots, and hanging baskets all at once. Once turned on, this drip kit exudes a water pressure of an even 14.5 ps, perfect for urban gardeners who strive to conserve water.
  • Oasis self watering kit. Are you worried that your urban garden may require numerous drip irrigation systems? If you have less than 20 plants, don’t fret. This kit operates on one 9V battery and is ideal for balcony, patio, or small-scale gardening in city plots with other farmers.
  • Basic drip kit. If you’re not in need of a timer, then you may want to consider this simpler version of the balcony drip kit. The amount of water dispersed throughout each planet can still be calibrated – you can choose for plants to receive between 0 to 1.59 gallons of water per hour.

All of these drip kits come with instructions for urban farmers who may be setting up drip irrigation systems for the very first time. As with all irrigation techniques, make sure to calibrate each planter box according to the specific watering needs of each plant.

Seedlings Sprouting

Growing Herbs in Containers: Light, Life Cycles and Planting

There’s nothing quite like fresh herbs. Instead of making a run to the store when a recipe calls for some extra zing, what if you could just head to your herb garden to get that fresh rosemary, basil, or mint? Growing herbs in containers is a simple project that can yield big rewards. Below are a few things to consider before planting your herb containers:

You can sprout seedlings in just about anything. Invest in long-term solutions for best success growing herbs in containers.

You can sprout seedlings in just about anything.
Invest in long-term solutions for best success growing herbs in containers.

Light

Herbs require strong light to grow, which can be a problem if you’re trying to harvest chives during the short, dark days of winter. The best herbs to grow can be planted in indoor containers. Planting in herb containers, either indoors or outdoors, allows for the pots to be moved around according to the sun. If you plant an herb that needs less sun, like parsley, simply move it out of the sun in the middle of the day. On the flipside, you can move a sun-loving herb around your yard or house for optimal growth. The Glendon Tapered Round Planter can be used indoors or outdoors, allowing you to give your herbs the light they need.

Life Cycles

A good understanding of plant lifecycle helps when growing herbs. Allowing your herbs to go to seed and turn into flowers signals that their lifecycle is about to end. The best thing to do is to harvest your herbs frequently. Luckily, with something as delicious as fresh herbs, you will most likely be plucking it often. If you see a flower forming, just pinch it off to keep your herbs happy, healthy, and productive. A good herb container for keeping an eye on your plants is the Tinley Ceramic Low Bowl Planter, which has a short profile so your herbs and their progress are always in view.

Planting Herbs

A successful herb garden starts right from the beginning with strategic planting. You may be tempted to cram lots of herbs into the herb container, but make sure to read the plant tag carefully and allow enough room for the fully grown herb – overcrowding can stop plants from expanding their root system and be harmful in the cold winter months. The best herbs to grow will easily fit into your pot now and when they are full size. A good option for an herb container that allows room for plenty of plants is the Danbury Round Planter, which has a wide diameter for plenty of planting room.

With a little research and a little planning, a container herb garden will be spicing up your kitchen in no time! For best results, shop smaller containers that fit on countertops or tables.

Cool DIY Projects for Spring Gardening

It’s that time of year again, dust off your shovel and rake and break out the gloves, its time to start planning your spring gardening projects. Whether you plan to plant a few potted flowers to brighten up the front of your house, or grow enough vegetables to feed your family for the year, spring is always a busy and exciting time for gardeners.

The most important lesson to take with you, is that you've just got to get outside in the garden and do something! Photo Credit: M. Dolly

The most important lesson to take with you, is that you’ve just got to get outside in the garden and do something!
Photo Credit: M. Dolly

Planning your Spring Gardening Projects

The key to any DIY garden project is planning. In any space the largest pieces draw the eye immediately and demand your attention. A great idea for the anchor piece in a small garden is a dwarf fruit tree planted in a Cedar Planter. Imagine orange juice fresh from your backyard, or juicing your own limes to liven up some homemade salsa. If you live in a cooler climate planters have a undeniable benefit. Some of the more delicate fruit trees can’t handle harsh climates, but a tree in a mobile planter can easily be moved inside when the mercury starts to drop.

Cedar planters are the easiest to paint, plus it's a fun DIY project that will get the kids in the garden too!

Cedar planters are the easiest to paint, plus it’s a fun DIY project that will get the kids in the garden too!

Not a fan of citrus? No problem, try arranging multiple planters around the perimeter of your patio or deck to create separation from the rest of the yard. Fill these barrier planters with flowers, vegetables, or perennial shrubs. Do you have a creative friend of family member? Provide a few cans of paint and some brushes and that row of planters will become a canvas allowing infinite options for customization of your outdoor space.

Gardening in Small Spaces

A living wall is an excellent addition to any small gardens décor. If your garden is limited to an enclosed area try hanging a Living Wall Planter on any wall to add life to a once dead space. An absorbent mat set behind this durable planter protects your walls from any water damage. Let your creativity run wild and arrange several planters on a large wall to add a custom touch to your garden. If your felling ambitious try covering a large vertical space with planters, then use a variety of colored flowers and plants to make a design, or even spell your family name.

For small space gardening, check out our living wall planters. They're modular, so you can make your project as big or small as you want!

For small space gardening, check out our living wall planters. They’re modular, so you can make your project as big or small as you want!

Enjoying the Results of Your DIY Garden Projects

After all your hard work be sure to sit back and enjoy the results. If you have grown vegetables you and your family will surely enjoy a few meals from the garden. Flowers with large and fragrant blooms can be cut fresh and arranged in a vase as a thoughtful gift for the neighbor who is always there for you, or kept on the dining room table as a DIY centerpiece straight from your garden. On the other hand, if you have grown some smaller succulents or flowers, glass pendant terrariums hanging in your home or office are the perfect way to display the product of all your hard work.

As with any hobby the key output of your spring gardening this year should be joy. The time spent planning, planting, and caring for your garden this spring will pay dividends throughout the summer and fall. Dream big this year and make your garden the talk of the town!

What are your spring gardening ideas? Share them in the comments below!