How to Line Your Planters Like a Pro

As spring arrives and the weather begins to warm, there’s no better time to turn your attention to the garden. This season is perfect for embarking on projects...

Man lining planter with flowers in

As spring arrives and the weather begins to warm, there's no better time to turn your attention to the garden. This season is perfect for embarking on projects that will beautify your garden throughout the summer. A crucial, yet frequently overlooked, task is lining your garden planters.

In this post, we will guide you step-by-step through the process of lining your planter and explain why this task is vital for maintaining plant health. Proper liner installation helps retain moisture, protect roots from pests and diseases, prevent weed growth, and enhance soil condition—ensuring your plants thrive and your garden remains beautiful and healthy.

Keep reading as we delve into the reasons why lining your planters correctly plays a crucial role in gardening success, and provide you with all the knowledge you need to do it yourself.

Why planters need lining

Raised Planter from Bents Shop

Before we get to the lining, let’s look at the garden planters themselves. Planters are made from materials like terracotta, wood, and metal, each with its own benefits and unique properties. Terracotta offers breathability but can dry out quickly, while wood provides natural aesthetics but may rot over time. Metal planters are durable but can heat up quickly, all important factors when choosing what type of planter is best for your garden.

Knowing how to line your planter can be beneficial. It can help improve moisture retention and shield roots from temperature changes. Additionally, it can also extend the planter's life.

Lined planters keep soil moist, protect roots from extreme temperatures, and prevent wood rot or metal corrosion. Ultimately, lining planters can ensure you have healthier plants and can extend the life of the planter itself.

What to line a planter with

Choosing the right liner for your planter is a critical step that can significantly affect the health of your plants and the longevity of the planter itself.

Common types of liners include plastic, coir, and landscape fabric, each with its benefits depending on the specific needs of your plants and the type of planter you are using:

Plastic Liners

Plastic liners are excellent for retaining moisture, which can be particularly beneficial in terracotta or metal planters that do not naturally retain water well. They are relatively inexpensive and readily available, making them a popular choice for both casual and serious gardeners.

However, plastic liners restrict air flow, which can be detrimental to plant health, especially for plant species that require good air circulation to thrive. This limitation makes them less suitable for certain types of plants and environments.

Plastic liners work best in terracotta or metal planters and are suitable for plants that do not require high levels of air circulation. They are a cost-effective option for reducing water evaporation and extending the watering interval.

Coir Liners

Coir liners are made from coconut husks, which naturally allow air and water to circulate. They help keep the soil moist while also providing excellent drainage and airflow.

While coir liners are environmentally friendly and effective, they can degrade faster than synthetic liners and may need to be replaced more frequently, which could be a consideration in terms of ongoing costs and maintenance.

Coir liners are particularly well-suited for wooden planters, where their natural look and ability to promote air flow complement the aesthetics and functional needs of the wood.

Landscape Fabric Liners

Landscape fabric liners are versatile and durable, providing good drainage and protecting roots from pests and diseases. They are suitable for all types of planters and are particularly useful in outdoor environments where conditions can be more variable.

Although they do not have significant drawbacks, landscape fabric liners can sometimes be more expensive than other options and might not offer the same moisture retention as plastic or the natural benefits of coir.

These liners are recommended for use in any type of planter, especially those located outdoors. They provide a balance of moisture retention and drainage, making them suitable for a wide range of plant species and planting conditions.

How to line a planter box, a step-by-step guide

Man lining planter with flowers in

Lining your planter is important for your plant's health and longevity. Follow these six easy steps to create a successful planter:

1. Measure the planter

First off start by measuring the interior dimensions of your planter, including the length, width, and depth. Make sure to add a little extra to each measurement to allow for overlap and secure the liner properly.

2. Cutting the liner

Then, cut the liner material to the right size using scissors or a knife based on your measurements. Ensure the liner is big enough to cover the inside of the planter completely, with extra to fold over the edges.

3. Fitting the liner

Gently put the liner in the planter so it's even and covers all sides.

4. Securing the liner

Fold the excess liner over the edges of the planter where it will be secured in place. To secure a liner in a planter, use staples or nails along the top edges of a wooden or metal planter. Adhesive tape or glue can be used to secure the liner in terracotta or plastic containers.

5. Ensure proper drainage

Before you add any soil and plants make sure your planter has enough drainage holes. If your planter doesn’t have enough drainage you can create your own to allow excess water to escape.

6. Prevent soil loss

Now you’ve added your drainage holes you want to make sure soil doesn’t get washed away through them. Put small garden gravel stones at the bottom of the planter before adding soil. This will keep the soil healthy and help plants grow well.

The importance of drainage

Lined Barrel Planter in Garden

Drainage plays an important role as it helps to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other plant diseases. While liners help retain moisture, it is important to balance this with adequate drainage.

To help water drain, make small holes in the bottom of the planter with a sharp knife or scissors. Make small holes in the liner to let water out and prevent buildup. Don't make the holes too big or it might not hold the soil well.

Balancing water retention and drainage creates a good environment for plants to grow well.

Maintaining your planter

Once you’ve lined your planter and filled it with an array of beautiful plants it’s important to keep it well maintained. Check for waterlogging signs regularly. Make sure drainage is working properly. Replace liners if necessary to prevent damage and maintain effectiveness as the season comes to an end.

Choose plants that can survive all seasons. Consider insulating them using plant fleece in winter to protect roots from frost. Also, continue to check on water levels and adjust as appropriate through the seasons. Remember to regularly maintain your lined planter to extend its lifespan and provide optimal conditions for plants year-round.

Common mistakes to avoid

There are a few mistakes that can be made when lining planters, but none that can’t be rectified or tackled upfront. Here we look at some of the most common ones so you can be aware of what to look out for and make the right decisions.

Using the wrong liner material, like a non-breathable one for plants needing airflow, is a common mistake. Another common issue is using poorly fitted liners. These problems can cause soil to leak, harm roots, and prevent proper drainage. This can happen if there are not enough drainage holes or if liners do not have good drainage.

The best way to avoid these pitfalls is research. If you research both the needs of your plants you will be able to select the most appropriate materials and ensure they fit well. And if you regularly monitor the moisture levels in your planter you will be able to maintain a healthy environment your plants will love.

Wrapping it up

In conclusion, lining your garden planter is a simple yet crucial step to ensure your plants' health and enhance the beauty of your garden. By following our guide, you can protect your plants from extreme temperatures, enhance moisture retention, and prevent weed intrusion, which collectively extends the life of both your planters and their inhabitants.

For a wide selection of high-quality planters perfect for any garden, visit the Bents Home & Garden store. Whether you are looking for durability, aesthetics, or functionality, Bents provides all you need to get started with lined planters that make a difference. Don't overlook this essential gardening practice—line your planters correctly and see your garden thrive.