If you dream of window boxes overflowing with bright flowers or planting herbs in hanging grow bags, but don't want to damage your vinyl siding by drilling holes, you may think you don't have any options. The truth is, you can install window boxes and grow bags on vinyl siding without ever making a hole.
Vinyl Siding Hooks
Ask your contractor about the type of hooks suitable for your siding. These come in a variety of sizes and may be metal or plastic. You can find them for a nominal price at hardware and home improvement centers or order them online. Your contractor may be able to supply you with the recommended hooks and can demonstrate the proper procedure for attaching the hooks. Most snap in place between the layers of the siding with little effort, making them a quick solution for hanging grow bags and window boxes.
Installing Window Boxes
- Purchase or make window boxes for your windows. A wooden box works best for this project as it is easy to attach hooks to the wood. Drill holes in the back of your window box and install two or more hooks for hanging, spaced evenly to distribute the weight of the box.
- Measure the distance between the hooks on your window box.
- Attach vinyl siding hooks to your siding, spaced at this distance.
- Slip the hooks on your window box over the vinyl siding hooks to secure your window box in place.
Planting Your Window Box
- Fill the window box to within 2 inches of the rim with potting media. A mixture of one part potting soil, one part peat moss and one part perlite makes a lightweight growing media for plants in containers.
- Make holes twice the size of the root balls of your plants in the soil with your hands and plant your seedlings.
- Firm the soil down with your hands to secure the roots.
- Water thoroughly until water runs freely through the bottom of the window box and water again when the soil feels dry 1-inch below the surface.
Installing Grow Bags
- Install a vinyl siding hook at the desired height for your grow bag. Planters hung slightly above eye level make caring for the planter easier and create a visually appealing display.
- Fill your grow bag with moist soil and lay it down on a flat surface.
- Tuck the root balls of your seedlings into the openings in the grow bag and firm the soil around the roots with your hands to secure them.
- Allow the bag to sit in this position for several days to a week. This allows the roots of your seedlings to become established before hanging the grow bag.
- Hang the bag by slipping its hanger over the vinyl siding hook.
Tips: Always check the recommended weight load for hooks and hangers and test them by gently pulling on them to see that they are secure. Remember moist soil and plants get heavy and need sturdy support.
Plants require regular care to promote lush growth. Follow these tips for caring for your planters.
- Group plants with similar lighting and watering needs.
- Deadhead faded blooms regularly to promote healthy blooming. Deadheading sends the plant the message that it has not produced enough seeds to reproduce and causes it to continue blooming.
- Pinch or cut back foliage if it becomes leggy or unruly. This forces the plant to send out new growth along the stem and creates dense, compact foliage.
- Check your plants and soil daily for signs of drying. Soil in containers dries quickly in the summer sun. You may need to water your window boxes or grow bags every day during hot, dry periods.
- Apply water-soluble fertilizer to your planters every 10 to 14 days. Plants in containers require more frequent fertilizer than those in the soil because some of the nutrients leach from the container with repeated watering or from rainfall.