Caring for plants when repairing planters

(Question)

Several large wood planters are integrated with the deck and need to be repaired.

We plan to empty each planter, one at a time, repair it and reintroduce the plants.

What should we do with the existing plants to ensure that they remain healthy (we have several varieties of roses, hydrangeas, perennials and one Japanese maple). Should we line the planters to prevent future rot and soil leaching? If so, with what?

 

(Answer)

If you continue to replant in wooden planters, you’ll need to rebuild them from time to time, no matter how you line them.  If you use plastic or metal, moisture will condense between the liner and the wood of the planter and eventually the wood will rot. Consider using cedar to build your planters, as this wood is more weather resistant and will take longer to rot.

Meanwhile, wait for an overcast, fairly cool day and take as large a rootball as possible as you transfer your plants.  Place the plants in large plastic pots (with holes for drainage) and top up the soil with a lightweight planter mix.  Never use garden soil, as it compacts in containers and will suffocate the roots of your plants. Place the newly potted plants in a shady location in the garden and keep them well watered until you’re ready to replant them into the new planters.