When I create a garden my design solutions are balanced between aesthetic, price point, lead time and maintenance. What looks amazing now may be a liability to deal with later. Cost effective planters sold through mainstream retailers and interior design stores don’t always hold up well outdoors. They may last for a season or two at most. Seams split, bottoms fall apart and soil goes everywhere. Inexpensively crafted zinc and cedar planters are some of the worst offenders on my list of terrace nightmares.
Though prefabricated wood planters seem like an inexpensive option, the lower initial cost is offset by the numerous issues they will bring. After years of experience building gardens, demolishing gardens for renovations and maintaining them regularly, here are three reasons why you need to consider planter options carefully:
1. Seams burst: The corner seams and base are the first to go. Eventually the middle slats buckle and fall apart on prefabricated planters.
2. Roots grow through wood slats: Aggressive plants and small trees quickly outgrow planters and their roots go right through untreated slats. Not only will the bottom bust right off the planters, but the roots can eventually grow through pavers and into the roofing membrane which can cause leaks and void roofing warranties. These are two things that you want to avoid at ALL costs.
3. Soil loss: If your planter isn’t solid and you encounter the first two issues, then you are going to experience this third issue too. In addition to making your terrace dirty and unsightly, loose soil will find its way through pavers and into drains. If enough soil builds up there will eventually be drainage issues and possible leaks. That’s reason enough for me to ensure the planters I use can stand the test of time!