Flowers and Vegetables

Planting areas on decks are a major cause of wood rot, but when properly built and maintained can be trouble free and add to the enjoyment of the deck. Year-round water and soil are a must in planter boxes, mandating even more careful selection of construction techniques. But planters also need to overcome some of the special challenges of deck gardening:

  • The small volume of earth in most planters will tend to require frequent watering. Daily watering is usually required in mid-summer.

  • Many gardeners recommend that you plant one pot inside of a larger pot with moss or other water-retaining material to keep more constant moisture levels.
  • Drip irrigation systems make deck gardening less of a watering chore.
  • Some plants are specifically recommended for decks, including "patio" tomatoes, and other "bush" varieties.
  • Herb gardens are ideal for decks near kitchens.
  • Clematis, grapes and wisteria, as well as other climbers are ideal for "softening" deck structures and trellises. But vines must be kept away from the siding of the house. They can damage the siding, provide an easy path for pests and even grow into the framing of the structure.
  • With a bit of planing our decks can be in their full glory as company comes from out of town. We will can then assure our guests that not every summer morning allows for a leisurely breakfast in the sun. And if a bald eagle or heron flies overhead, we will have a ready opportunity to talk about the fragile environment, Hershel and his friends, and the population explosion.

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    Wood Decks