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 plant cultivators are specifically selected 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. Treating the wood deck after the climber has grown for a few years could be difficult without damaging the plant.
  • Our decks will be in their full glory as company comes from out of town. We will try to 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 Puget Sound population explosion.