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Improve your home’s curb appeal by enhancing the area around your mailbox. It’s a great way to accentuate your landscape.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
Popular mailbox plants include annuals, perennials, tropicals and shrubbery. You can mulch the planting bed, or create a more natural feel using stones and pebbles. Below are instructions for common mailbox plantings. Before you start planting, consider a few things:
1. Consider the mailbox area from the postal worker’s viewpoint. According to US Postal Service regulations (usps.gov, Domestic Mail Manual 508.3.2), mailboxes must be:
2. Consider the mailbox area from a driver’s or neighbor’s viewpoint. Make sure that plants don't block the view of on-coming traffic when exiting a driveway. If the mailbox is adjacent to a neighbor’s box, discuss and cooperate with the neighbor.
3. Make sure the mailbox planting conforms to local ordinances or homeowners association restrictions. Most authorities have few or no restrictions, but it is easier to check now than to remove the plantings after a citation.
4. Verify that the mailbox planting area doesn't have any underground sprinkler systems or utility lines. Call 811 to contact your utility company and have them identify any underground service lines.
5. Select plants that have similar light requirements — some prefer full sun and others do better in the shade. This helps to make sure your project consistently looks great all season. You can find this information on the plant tag.
6. Draw a simple plan of the mailbox area. Some things you may consider including in your plan are plant types, colors, sizes, heights and textures. This plan will guide you through the plant selection, installation and care.
Lay out an outline of your bed with a garden hose or rope.
Use a shovel to cut the outline of the mailbox planting area from the grass. Remove the grass sod.
Break up the soil in the mailbox planting area with a spade (pointed) shovel or small tiller / cultivator.
Test the soil pH and add proper amendments for the types of plants you are planting. For any type of soil, mixing in some compost rich in nutrients will give plants a healthier start.
Cut and install landscape fabric over the mailbox planting area to help control weeds.
Place the selected plants at their approximate location per the plans and make any needed adjustments.
If you’re installing a trellis or other decorative feature, it’s typically best to do so before planting, in case you have to make adjustments.
Cut a hole in the fabric where you want each plant to be and dig a hole 2 -3 inches deeper and wider than the pots they are in.
Add a layer of enriched soil in the bottom of each hole.
Hold the plant by the stem and tap around the outside of the pot to loosen the soil.
Gently remove the plant from the pot, loosen the roots to allow them to grow apart and place the plant in the hole.
Fill the hole in with enriched soil.
If the plant is a climbing vine, carefully tie the plant to the mailbox post or trellis. Some plants can be woven through the trellis to help direct their growth pattern.
Continue planting all plants and flowers in the mailbox area. Popular plants include:
Cover the mailbox planting area with mulch, gravel or rock. Mulch helps retain moisture and keep the weeds down. Gravel and rock are popular in drier climates.
Water all plants daily for the first week.
Once established, water the plants a few times a week as recommended by the plant tag.