Benefits of Using Planters
Whether your gardening purpose is to create a miniature container garden or add a design element to your commercial or residential space, there are many benefits to using fiberglass planters. Planters let you garden where soil isn't available, define walkways, brighten up your outdoor space, or create privacy in a restaurant or business. Fiberglass’ lightweight yet durable structure allows for you to change the layout of your landscape easily and frequently. As the seasons and the sun’s position change you can move your plant to best fit its needs. Additionally as some flowers bloom you can reposition them into the spotlight and return them when they are finished blooming. The lifespan of your plans will increase because planters made from fiberglass are non-porous and prevent soil from drying out quickly. For a full list of benefits visit our Why Composite Materials page.
It is important to remember, however, when planting in a container the plant’s life is more dependant on you than its natural environment to provide it with the necessities to live. They are in a limited amount of soil, their root growth is restricted, and the plants are exposed to elements far more than if they were field grown. To maintain a healthy plant you must pay close attention to the plant’s watering and feeding requirements.
Picking a Planter
It’s usually best to choose the planter before deciding on what you’re going to plant. Pair your plant pot with a style that matches either your home or commercial space. Some shapes look great on stone patios or defining the front entry of a formal house, while more geometric shaped planters complement modern design. The finish of your planter can also determine which variety of plant life will look best. Neutral and more natural finishes draw attention to some plants where more vivid and vibrant finishes will emphasize the planters themselves.
If your plant will remain outdoors it is necessary to have drainage holes to prevent over-watering and the roots from becoming waterlogged. Our best tip for easy planting is choosing a large container. Large containers have larger soil volume so the plants won't need to be watered as often. More soil also means your plants can grow a bigger root system. After you choose the right planter it’s time to choose the best plant life. For more tips on container gardening read our 6 Tips & Tricks for Container Gardening post!
Choosing the Right Plants
Talking with the staff of your local garden center is the best way to learn about the living requirements of your plants you choose. However, work with your designer to determine plants that accent your space. Consider the climate, microclimate, water needs, and placement in the landscape when choosing plants. Ideally, you should choose plants that are adapted to local rainfall.
Decide on the location of the planter before adding soil because it may be too heavy to move after filling. A light potting medium is your best choice and can usually be found at home improvement or gardening stores. Do not fill any planter with topsoil from your current yard or garden as it may damage the container over time. Before adding potting soil line the bottom of your container with 1-2” of small pebbles. Then place a coffee filter (or landscape fabric) over the top. Fill the pot to just below 3 inches of the rim. Avoid using garden soil because it compacts in large containers, which prevents proper root growth and drainage. Finally, cover the soil with a 1-inch layer of mulch. This layer helps prevent water loss from evaporation and provides an attractive covering until the plants are able to fill out the pot.
Watering & Maintenance
Do not fill your planter completely with water as it may damage the container. The biggest cause of death to container grown plants is over-watering and drowning. If you do not drill drainage holes you can add a layer of gravel below the soil, but watering must be monitored more closely. Also, pay attention to the seasons and rotate or rearrange your planters to best fit the changing sunlight. Check the soil moisture in the pot daily and water it when the top inch of soil feels dry.
Fertilizer is essential for having healthy plants. The easiest way to provide fertilizer to your plants is to incorporate a slow release fertilizer into the soil when you plant your container. If you buy an already planted container or if you forgot to incorporate the fertilizer, you can top-dress (spread the fertilizer on top of the soil) with it. Slow-release or controlled release fertilizers will generally provide nutrition for 2 to 3 months. For more detailed questions feel free to contact our support staff here.