Installation and Gardening Tips
Potting Mix and Planting
For potting mix and planting, our experts recommend a loose and porous mix that will not only make a container lighter and easier to move, but also ensures that plants get the water, fertilizer and nutrients, and air they need more efficiently. The perfect growing mix does not contain soil or garden dirt. It’s composed of peat moss, vermiculite or perlite, sand, and shredded bark or compost. If the potting mix is dry, you may want to moisten slightly before using and break up any large pieces of peat moss.
Examples include Pro-Mix, Proven Winners, and Miracle-Gro. These mixes can be found at most home-improvement stores, hardware stores, discount chains, and garden centers. We recommend using annuals for continuous blooming until the first frost. Choosing plants with a trailing or cascading growth habit, or six- to eight-inch height will work best in the mailbox planter. We also suggest planting three to four plants per side to allow room for growth. When planting, loosen the roots of pot-bound plants slightly to allow for quicker contact with the potting mix for a fast and healthy start. Water new plantings with a root stimulator or quick-start to reduce plant shock. Make sure you read the plant labels for specifications and light requirements. Succulents are great for hot climates. Also, snip the tips to keep them from getting leggy. This will give you a more compact and condensed growth habit. Be sure to keep your mailbox door free of plant growth. And don’t forget to remove the planter from the box if you are expecting stormy weather conditions. This will prolong the life of the plants.
Plant Care and Maintenance
The experts at Creative Mailbox Planters recommend checking the undersides of the foliage for common pests such as aphids and spider mites once a week. They will become more active during the summer months and may cause plants to dry more quickly. The use of products such as chemical-free Insecticidal Soap will take care of these insects with no harm to the environment. Read the label instructions for application rates and the best time to spray. Keep wasps from building nests inside or under or mailbox to keep the mail carrier from being stung. Make sure the door closes properly to keep wasps from entering the box.
What About Artificial Flowers
The use of artificial flowers is also an option. Get four dry-foam bricks and place 2 per side, then hot glue them end to end. Using wire cutters, separate flower bushes into individual stems to allow you to arrange them to your liking. You can also add a florist wood pick to create more height when desired. Be sure to spray them with Krylon UV Floral Protectant spray to keep the florist wood from fading in the sun. When removing the foam inserts, gently push the eraser end of a pencil up through the bottom drainage holes will help to loosen the inserts.