ROOFLITE BLOG

Tips for Successful Planters

Posted in Blog, Planters on August 31, 2018

Planters are one of the most diverse elements that landscape architects can use to create a dynamic design. They can be used on green roofs as an integral part of an elevated green oasis, and they can also be used on ground level to create green space or to act as a security barrier around an urban building.

With all the flexibility of planters, they can represent one of the more challenging types of design projects. There are many parts that go into making a planter project succeed, and we want to give you an overview of important tips that we’ve learned in our many years of creating soils for planters.

Our rooflite planter soil performance systems are optimized for use in planters, and we would love to help you select the perfect system for your plant project.

Ten Tips for Successful Planters

  1. ENSURE WATER RUN OFF
    For all outdoor planters, you must drain excess water. If excess rain or irrigation water can’t flow away freely, your plants will die.
  2. PROVIDE PROPER DRAINAGE
    Planters need a drainage layer at the bottom to allow excess water to flow to the drain holes.
  3. SEPARATE MEDIA LAYERS
    Depending on the depth of the planter, two or three different media layers are needed for a perfect system build-up. The drainage layer at the bottom must be separated from the growth media layer(s) above by a filter fabric.
  4. PAY ATTENTION TO SOIL STRUCTURE
    Potting mixes don’t work for larger planters with perennials, grasses and woody plants. Typical potting mixes consist mainly of peat moss, coir and bark. These organic materials will break down over time, and as they shrink and compact, they will jeopardize the longevity of your plants.
  5. OPTIMIZE SOIL FUNCTIONS
    Taller plants in planters have limited root space. Therefore, both physical and chemical properties of the growth media have to be optimized to ensure long lasting, healthy plant growth.
  6. UNDERSTAND SOIL FERTILITY
    An ideal growth media for planters is rich in nutrients and contains sufficient minerals and trace elements. pH value and salt content have to be considered as well. At the same time, micro-organisms have an immense influence on soil fertility and plant growth.
  7. SELECT THE RIGHT PLANTS
    Plant selection not only depends on the design intent of the planner but also on many factors like region, climate, and location. In general, you should select plants that fit the size of the planter and can live together in tight quarters as good neighbors.
  8. CONSIDER IRRIGATION
    Due to the artificial environment and the limited root space, most plants in planters need additional water to survive. Whether you water by hand or install an irrigation system, you need a reliable and accessible water supply nearby.
  9. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION
    Selecting the right spot for a planter is crucial for good looks, plant health, ease of care, and long-term success.
  10. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
    Please refer to manufacturer’s instructions on how to fill planters and containers properly.

 

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