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Filling Large Commercial Planters

Filling Large Commercial Planters

Filling Large Commercial Planters

Large planters play a significant role in container gardening, indoors or outdoors. They serve as impressive focal points, creating awe-inspiring designs and functional dividers. Large containers elevate potted plants, adding layers of decor and a fuller look to the space. Utilizing tall planters and large planters is a popular design trend, seamlessly incorporating contemporary elements into indoor or outdoor settings.

fiberglass garden pots

Imagine the impact of walking into a hotel reception adorned with expansive planters and lush trees – it’s a captivating sight. This design feature enhances various spaces, from framing a shopfront’s doorway to dividing areas within a restaurant. To make the most of these large pots, it’s essential to understand the required soil quantity and choose the right filler materials for your specific needs.

Do You Need To Use Pot Fillers For Large Pots?

In essence, using filler materials like clay balls or pine cones in the bottom of a large planter is not strictly necessary, but there are practical considerations to keep in mind, especially with larger planters.

Some gardeners argue that filling the entire planter with potting soil is a viable approach, emphasizing the potential for increased root growth and plant development. However, a more pragmatic perspective considers the financial aspect and the weight of the planter.

By incorporating filler materials, you can reduce the amount of potting soil needed, leading to cost savings. Additionally, adjusting the weight of the planter based on the choice of fillers becomes possible, catering to specific garden needs. This approach is particularly relevant for tall planters, where proper drainage is crucial to prevent waterlogging.

Addressing the issue of soil compression in large planters, which can impede drainage, underscores the importance of using appropriate filler materials. Waterlogged soil creates conditions favorable for root rot, emphasizing the significance of knowing what to put in the bottom of large planters to ensure proper drainage and aeration.

In summary, while it may not be mandatory to use fillers in large planters, it is a practical and beneficial choice to promote optimal plant health and container gardening success.

Lightweight Pot Fillers

Consider the mobility requirements of your container garden carefully. If you plan to use large planters as temporary space dividers, need to bring them indoors during winter, or wish to alter your garden layout periodically, it’s essential to keep the containers lightweight and easily movable.

Materials such as clay, ceramic, porcelain, concrete, and stone are inherently heavy, making them less ideal for mobility. Even lightweight options like plastic pots and fiberglass containers can become cumbersome when filled with potting soil.

If the decision is to prioritize lightness and ease of movement, continue reading to discover the best pot fillers for the bottom of large planters.

Compostable Materials

  • Coconut fiber
  • Paper cups
  • Wood chips
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Recycled cardboard pieces
  • Pinecones

Non-biodegradable Materials

  • Styrofoam peanuts/ packing peanuts
  • Crushed soda cans
  • Foam blocks
  • Plastic milk jugs
  • Plastic bottles/ plastic containers
  • Bubble wrap
  • Empty potting soil bag
  • Empty plastic

Heavy Pot Fillers

There are instances when having heavy containers can be advantageous for your garden or landscaping requirements.

When planting trees or larger plants in tall planters, a heavier base might be necessary. A sturdy, durable planter is essential to support the weight of the plant, providing stability and preventing the risk of toppling over. In such cases, a heavier and more secure container is preferred.

There are additional compelling reasons to opt for heavy, immovable containers in your commercial or residential space. If you are using planters as a barrier or bulwark, weighted containers are ideal. This scenario may arise if you position them as a property fence or as dividers in a parking area. In high-traffic areas like lobbies or kitchens, where sturdiness is crucial, a heavy planter is beneficial.

Additionally, for security reasons, a robust and heavy planter serves as an effective deterrent against theft.

Compostable Vs. Non-biodegradable Pot Fillers

We have categorized this list of pot fillers into two groups based on their compostability: natural materials that are biodegradable and non-biodegradable items, which, for simplicity, refer to products that do not break down easily.

Which Should You Use To Fill Your Container Garden?

When choosing between natural organic materials and non-biodegradable ones, there are certain considerations to keep in mind.

Organic fillers, like pine cones or wood logs, will decompose over time, contributing nutrients to the soil and acting as a natural fertilizer. However, as they break down, they integrate into the potting soil, requiring the addition of more filler or soil.

Non-biodegradable options, such as milk jugs, styrofoam blocks, and bits of plastic pots, won’t decompose for a long time. These materials can be an environmentally friendly way to repurpose old items, but be cautious of water collection, which may introduce bacteria to the plant. If growing edible plants consider potential bacterial growth, especially with compostable materials like newspapers or paper cups that may leach ink. In such cases, using pure potting soil might be a safer choice.

Ultimately, the choice of filler material and weight depends on the plants you’re growing and your specific gardening needs.

Steps To Get Your Large Planter Ready For Planting

01. Select your large planter.

Selecting the right material for your plant is crucial for its well-being. Landscape professionals often prefer fiberglass for its optimal characteristics. If you are reusing a pot, consider cleaning the exterior by washing it with hot water and mild soap.

02. Make sure there is at least one drainage hole

Adequate drainage is crucial for the plant’s roots, and this involves having the right size of drainage holes in large planters. Make sure there is at least one drainage hole at the bottom of your large pot, and ideally, a few more for optimal drainage. However, for indoor planters, adding drainage holes may not be recommended. If needed, you can install your drainage holes using a masonry drill bit, but this could be an unnecessary hassle.

If you choose a large planter from our selection, we can assist in drilling holes at the bottom to ensure proper drainage and prevent root rot. Pro tip: Ensure the drainage holes are not obstructed by the filler items to allow efficient water flow.

03. Add the pot filler

Next, based on the required space, add an appropriate amount of filler to the bottom of the large planter. Use lightweight or heavy pot fillers depending on your specific needs. Avoid overfilling the container, leaving sufficient room for root development. Check online or consult with your landscaper to determine the specific needs of your plant.

If using lightweight fillers like styrofoam blocks, consider placing a heavy brick or tile at the bottom first to stabilize the container. Seal water bottles or plastic jugs to prevent water from collecting in them. For packing peanuts, it’s advisable to enclose them in a sack or plastic bag for neater removal if necessary in the future.

When using heavy items as fillers, start filling the planter once it’s installed in the permanent location you desire.

Always ensure that the chosen filler is safe for your plants, especially if they are intended for consumption.

04. Place landscape fabric over the filler

The fabric serves to prevent the soil from descending to the bottom of your container, as there will be gaps between your fillers. To prevent potting soil from filtering down and filling these gaps, introduce a layer of landscaping fabric between your filler and potting soil layers.

You can acquire landscape fabric from a local garden center, or alternatively, use a piece of plastic screen, mesh, cheesecloth, or even newspaper. Ensure that water can easily flow through the fabric to facilitate good drainage.

05. Put in your potting soil

Now, you’re prepared to fill the large planter with potting soil. Fill the planter to approximately two inches below the rim to minimize water overflow.

It’s generally recommended to refrain from using garden soil or soil from the ground, as these often contain weed seeds and may lack the necessary nutrients or fertilizer to sustain the plant’s health.

Potting soil is crucial, especially for indoor plants, as it is a lightweight soil that is well-balanced with organic material, peat, and perlite, aiding in efficient water drainage.

06. Place the plant

Congratulations! You are now prepared to position the plant in its new home. Plant it securely in the center of the large container. Firmly press the potting medium around the base of the plant, ensuring no roots are exposed. Water the plant thoroughly until water begins to drain out of the bottom.

How Much Filler To Use For Your Large Container?

As all knowledgeable landscapers are aware, root growth is crucial for a healthy plant. Ensuring an optimal environment for the roots to grow is easy with a large planter.

In this instance, bigger is generally better. Flowering and fruiting can be diminished in too small a space. A larger planter also reduces the need to repot the plant every year.

So, how much filler should you be using?

  • Herbs & Vegetables – most herbs can grow well with a depth of 6 to 8 inches, while vegetables like Beans, Beets, Cucumbers, Garlic, Peppers, Lettuce, Kale, and Spinach need a minimum depth of around 8 to 10 inches.
    Large rectangular planters are an excellent way to grow a vegetable garden, whether as a project for your office or to add a unique design element to your restaurant. The raised height of the planter makes it easier to manage and provides an eye-catching look!
  • Annuals – plants that only live for one growing season; they germinate, flower, and reproduce all during that time. They tend to have a longer blooming period and are known for their season-long array of showy, enticing colors. Great examples of these are Forget-Me-Nots, Marigolds, and Petunias. Most annual flowers have shallow root systems, so a depth of 4 to 8 inches is ample.
  • Perennials – perennials, as the term implies, live for at least two years and flower year after year. They are often considered the backbone of the garden, providing a consistent landscape. Perennials usually only bloom for one season each year.

Examples of perennials include:

  1. Black-eyed Susan
  2. Begonia, Holly
  3. Maple Tree
  4. Pine Tree
  5. Many herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Why Is Fibreglass The Best Material For Big Planters?

Selecting the right material for your container is crucial, especially when dealing with large pots. Durability and longevity become even more essential in such cases. You’ll typically have options such as terracotta, metal, plastic, wood, and more. Within the commercial gardening community, fiberglass stands out as the preferred choice.

fiberglass garden pots

Landscape professionals favor fiberglass due to its lightweight nature, durability, and resistance to weather. Unlike seasonal planters like clay or terracotta, fiberglass containers can withstand all weather conditions throughout the year, maintaining their pristine appearance.

Large fiberglass pots offer a diverse range of colors, shapes, and textures, and they can even be customized to align with your project requirements and complement your business’s branding style.

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