Prepping Your Planter For Summer
When it comes to gardening, setting up your gardening space is one of the most important first steps to take at the beginning of the gardening season. Considerations need to be made on the types of soil, fertilizer, and plants that will be used in your garden to help your space stand out and live up to the dreams of summer greenery you’ve had all winter.
While many gardeners use in-ground planting, the use of garden planters is a popular and effective way to foster growth in your garden or gardening space around the backyard or patio. Planters provide a raised space for your plants, prevent weeds, and add a vertical aesthetic to what could be a simple single plane garden. Prepping your planter boxes for the beginning of the year is a simple process that is often critical to plant health. In this blog post we’re going to share some quick tips for prepping planters, from simple layering to the use of quick inserts.
Planters provide a raised space for your plants, preventing weeds, and adding a vertical aesthetic
Layering Your Planter
Step 1: Add Landscaping Fabric
One of the best reasons to use a planter is weed prevention. Unlike gardening straight from the ground, the raised bed of a planter keeps your plants from being easily accessible to weeds. However, this doesn’t mean that planters are immune to weeds in general. Start the layering process with a durable piece of landscaping fabric. Landscaping fabric will prevent weeds from shooting up through the loose soil of your planter box, while still allowing for proper drainage. This fabric does not however, prevent all weed growth so make sure to do some occasional weeding in your garden planters to prevent the spread of weeds that might choke out your intentional growth.
Step 2: Add Wood/Mulch
Add a layer of wood, this layer of wood isn’t lumber from the lumber store, but fallen branches or other local deadfall. Adding the wood and other organic material will create a rich biome in your planter full of local materials that should help your plants to grow. You can also add extra material including some grass clippings, or even pine needles for plants that thrive in a high acidity soil.
Step 3: Add Native Soil & Compost/Manure
At this point add a simple planting soil, this can be your native soil, or even a less expensive option at a gardening store to fill some of the extra space left over in your planter. Combine this simple planting soil with some form of manure or compost to create a fertile layer that should help to decompose the wood and other organic material from the last step.
Step 4: Add Topsoil
Complete the layering of your planter with a layer of quality top soil. The high-quality soil in the top layer should provide the plants with the nutrient rich environment that they need right now, while the other layers will provide fertilizer and other important nutrients for the plants throughout the next several growing seasons.
If you are planting in a tall decorative planter, some of these options will come with an included planter insert to make planting a simple process and allow you to swap out decorative plant materials for different seasons and events. This planting option is an even simpler process than the layering method common in larger garden planters.
Planter inserts make planting a simple process and allows you to swap out decorative planter materials for different seasons and events
Step 1: Stabilize the Planter
While the insert feature of a tall decorative planter is great for ease of planting, it can make the taller more narrow planter top-heavy and susceptible to falling in windy conditions. To lessen the chances of your planter tipping over, take some heavy materials and place them in the bottom of the planter. Common materials used are simply rocks, or even smaller concrete blocks to add just the right amount of weight to the bottom of the planter.
Step 2: Fill the Insert
With the smaller planter insert, you will not need to add landscape fabric, wood, or compost. Simply fill the planter insert with quality top soil to encourage seasonal growth within the planter insert. This method will require you to replace the soil annually, however, it will allow for more variety with your plants and a quick exchange at the beginning of the year.
Using a planter for all your planting needs is the perfect way to add a vertical aesthetic to your garden, while also creating an often healthier space for your plants. Refer back to this easy to follow guide for planting in several different types of planters and methods of gardening. Happy Gardening!