Gardening is a rewarding hobby that allows you to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers right at home. But lack of yard space shouldn’t stop you from being able to have a garden. This is where boxer planters come in handy!

Boxer planters are a clever type of gardening container that combines the benefits of raised garden beds and pots into one convenient planter box. They allow you to grow plants in a limited space while still providing them with good drainage and aeration.

In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at what exactly boxer planters are, their many benefits, how to use them properly, and tips for getting the most out of these unique planters. Read on to learn everything you need to know to successful grow abundant crops in boxer planters!

What Are Boxer Planters?

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Boxer planters get their name from their distinctive square, box-like shape. Unlike round or oval planters, boxer planters have four straight sides and 90 degree corners.

They are made out of:

  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Metal

Boxer planters consist of short walls, usually about 6-12 inches high, surrounding an open top and bottom.

The open bottom is one of the key features of boxer planters. It allows for drainage and aeration of the soil and plant roots. Without a solid bottom, excess water can easily drain away instead of pooling up and causing the soil to become waterlogged.

The moderately short walls are another important design element. They hold the soil in while still providing ample room for plants to grow vertically. The walls help contain the soil without restricting natural root growth and spreading.

Boxer planters come in many different sizes, ranging from:

  • Small tabletop models (2-3 ft in length)
  • Medium-sized (4-5 ft)
  • Large planter boxes (6 ft and longer)

This means you can find a boxer planter sized appropriately for your specific space, whether it’s a tiny balcony or a larger deck or patio. The smaller models work great for herbs and flowers, while larger boxer planters can accommodate vegetables and larger plants.

Benefits of Using Boxer Planters

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There are many advantages to using boxer planters compared to traditional in-ground gardening:

Great for Small Spaces

Boxer planters allow you to grow plants anywhere, even if you only have a tiny amount of space available. Areas like decks, patios, and balconies are perfect for boxer planters. You don’t need an expansive garden plot to be able to grow your own fresh produce and flowers.

Portability

One of the best things about boxer planters is that they are relatively lightweight and mobile. Plastic and smaller wooden planters can easily be picked up and moved around your space as needed. This allows you to reconfigure your garden layout as desired.

You can also use the portability to your advantage by moving the planters to take advantage of sunlight, chase the sun throughout the seasons, bring plants indoors or outdoors, etc. They are great for urban gardeners who need flexibility in their small growing spaces.

Good Drainage and Aeration

The open bottom design of boxer planters leads to superior drainage and air circulation compared to regular containers or pots. When the bottom is closed off, soil can become waterlogged which depletes oxygen.

With boxer planters, excess moisture drains freely from the bottom while oxygen can still penetrate up into the soil from the slats. This creates an optimal growing environment for plant roots.

Higher Yield in Small Spaces

Getting your plants up off the ground in a raised planter enables you to plant more densely compared to traditional in-ground gardening. The vertical growing space increases the effective “footprint” of your gardening area.

Also, not having to leave space for aisles and walkways between rows like in an inground garden means you can use virtually all the planter space for plants.

Elevated for Accessibility

The raised height of boxer planters makes planting, tending, and harvesting your garden much easier on your back. You don’t have to bend over or squat to reach ground-level plants.

The elevate position also makes your plants more visible. It’s easier to inspect plants for signs of pests, disease, or harvest readiness when you don’t have to crane your neck downward.

Controlled Soil Environment

With boxer planters, you can fill the boxes with a high-quality potting mix instead of having to use native soil that is potentially low quality. This allows you to create an optimal soil environment.

You can also easily amend the soil in boxer planters by adding organic material like compost. It’s much simpler to enrich the entire soil volume when working with a contained planter versus open ground.

How to Use Boxer Planters

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Boxer planters may seem simple, but there are some important considerations for using them effectively:

Selecting Suitable Plants

You’ll get best results by planting crops that are well-suited for the conditions provided by boxer planters. Some guidelines:

  • Vegetables – Focus on smaller, compact varieties such as lettuce, kale, spinach, beans, carrots, etc. Larger vegetables like tomatoes may require very large planters.
  • Fruits – Dwarf or patio varieties of berries and fruit trees adapted to containers are good options.
  • Herbs – Most culinary and medicinal herbs will thrive in boxer planters.
  • Flowers – Many annuals and perennials do well, but steer clear of species with massive root systems.

Avoid crops with spreading root structures like squash, melons, pumpkins, etc. The confined boxer environment doesn’t give them room to expand.

Providing Nutrient-Rich Soil

Use a high-quality potting mix rather than garden soil, which can become compacted. Amend plain potting mixes with:

  • Compost, peat moss, or coco coir to improve moisture retention
  • Worm castings or organic granular fertilizer for nutrients
  • Perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage

Test drainage by watering the filled planter before planting. If water pools on the surface, add more perlite to improve drainage.

Arranging Plants

  • Place taller, upward-vining plants like tomatoes, pole beans, and cucumbers towards the center or back of the planter.
  • Leave enough space between plants to allow them to reach their mature size. Refer to seed packet spacing guidelines.
  • Intercrop compatible plants like radishes and lettuce to maximize space.
  • Use trellises and cages to support plants and optimize vertical growing space.

Providing Adequate Water

Check soil moisture frequently, at least daily in hot weather. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil become dry.

The bottom slats mean boxer planters will likely need more frequent watering than in-ground plantings. Consider installing drip irrigation to make watering large or multiple planters more convenient.

Placement

Make sure your boxer planter gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for best growth. Some filters sun exposure is okay for lettuces and herbs.

Elevating the planters, such as placing them on plant stands, tables, or concrete blocks, can improve drainage. This allows air flow under the bottom slats.

Tips for Success with Boxer Planters

Follow this advice to ensure your boxer planter garden thrives:

  • Use drip irrigation or self-watering spikes to make watering large planters easy. This ensures consistent moisture.
  • Apply organic granular fertilizer when first planting, then fertilize again midway through the growing season.
  • Group 2-3 boxer planters together to create a clustered garden effect. Place them near seating areas to create an inviting space.
  • For large planters, add wheels or casters to the bottom. This makes moving and repositioning the heavy boxes much simpler.
  • To help deter pests, place garden netting or fabric over the bottom box slats, securing it around the edges.
  • Succession plant quick-growing crops like lettuce and radishes to get continual harvests from one planter box.

Getting Creative with Boxer Planters

Beyond the basics, there are lots of creative ways to use boxer planters:

  • Make miniature planter boxes for kids to teach them about gardening.
  • Attach two narrow boxer planters together to create a patio divider or privacy screen.
  • Use extra-large planter boxes to grow dwarf fruit trees, berries, and shrubs.
  • Elevate planters on table legs or stacked crates to make waist-high boxes; no bending to tend them!
  • Add climbing vines like cucamelons or beans on trellises along the inside walls.
  • Install decorative trim, paint, or distressing to upgrade wooden planters into garden showpieces.
  • Stack two or more planter boxes, with the largest on the bottom and smaller ones above. Stagger them for visual interest.

Let your creativity run wild! Part of the fun of boxer planters is customizing them to match your space and style.

What to Plant in Boxer Planters

Boxer planters are great for all types of edible and ornamental plants. Here are some specific suggestions:

Vegetables

  • Leafy greens – Lettuce, spinach, kale, chard, arugula
  • Herbs – Basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme
  • Green onions and leeks
  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Dwarf or patio tomatoes

Fruits

  • Strawberries
  • Dwarf blueberries
  • Urban berry shrubs – Jostaberries, honeyberries
  • Dwarf fruit trees – Citrus, apple, peach

Flowers

  • Marigolds
  • Zinnias
  • Petunias
  • Sunflowers
  • Nasturtiums
  • Cosmos
  • Calibrachoa
  • Geraniums
  • Lavender
  • Chives
  • Dianthus

Comparison to Other Container Gardens

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Boxer planters have some key advantages and differences compared to other container gardening methods:

Boxer Planters vs. Traditional Planter Boxes

  • Boxer planters have open bottoms for superior drainage and airflow.
  • They take up less vertical space – short walls vs. tall planter boxes.
  • Lighter weight and more maneuverable than large wooden planter boxes.

Boxer Planters vs. Pots/Planters

  • Provide more root room for plant growth.
  • Soil stays more consistently moist.
  • Don’t have to water as frequently as standard pots.
  • Offer flexibility in plant spacing – can place plants closer together.

Boxer Planters vs. Raised Beds

  • Take up less space than full-size raised beds.
  • Shorter walls make boxing planters more accessible.
  • Can be moved around, unlike permanent raised beds.

Boxer Planters vs. In-Ground Garden

  • Allow gardening in spaces without large garden plots.
  • Prevent soil compaction issues that can occur in ground.
  • Let you control soil quality.
  • Raised height makes planting and tending easier.

The Verdict on Boxer Planters

In summary, boxer planters provide a flexible, space-efficient option for growing bountiful harvests of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

They are ideal for urban gardeners with limited space since they allow you to garden virtually anywhere. Patios, decks, rooftops, and paved areas are all suitable spots.

The portability of boxer planters enables you to move them around your outdoor living space as desired. Chase the light, make room for entertaining, or protect delicate plants from harsh weather simply by relocating the lightweight planter boxes.

Of course, the irreplaceable open bottom design provides excellent drainage and aeration to plant roots while still holding the soil in place. Boxer planters give you the best of both worlds between standard containers and in-ground planting.

For gardeners without an expansive backyard, boxer planters offer the ability to grow robust food and flower crops in just a few square feet. They are also more accessible for gardeners dealing with mobility limitations since there is no need to bend over or sit on the ground.

So don’t let lack of yard or garden space deter you from indulging your green thumb! Boxer planters enable anyone, anywhere to become an urban gardening pro.

Invest in a quality boxer planter or two this season. Carefully select suitable plants, enrich the soil, arrange your plants properly, and keep them watered. Then watch your edible backyard bounty flourish!