One of the most commonly overlooked, and yet essential, used in indoor, raised bed, or any kind of planter gardening is the planter liner. Planter liners are a necessity for several reasons, all of which are vital to the health and welfare of your plants. First, they help to ensure that a very limited amount of the soil is washed away every time that you water the plants. Second of all, if you are using exterior planters, then the liners can help prevent the encroachment of weeds and certain pests. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind when looking for the planter liners you will be using in your garden.
- Durability. When looking at potential planter liners, you will need to ensure that it is durable. Typically speaking plants that are in planters take a little more abuse than those in a garden. This is due to how quickly water can drain from the planter, as well as the lack of nutrients usually included in the limited space of a planter. Because of these, and other factors, it is completely common for the need of new soil to be placed into the planter frequently.
- Drainage. You need to ensure that the liner is something that will allow proper drainage, while still keeping the vast majority of the soil inside the planter. One way to look at the liner is to think of it as an oversized coffee filter. Something that will allow the grounds (or soil) to be kept within the planter, but allow the water to seep out in a slow and measured pace. You do not want something that will allow all the dirt to wash through every time that you water the plant, but it does need to allow the water to leave.
- Material. One of the worst types of materials to use as a planter liner is anything that is made from plastic. Plastic has a tendency (even if there are small holes) to trap moisture. What this means is that you will find your planter never fully drain, and your plants will be more susceptible to root rot. The best kind of material to use is something along the lines of burlap. Since burlap is biodegradable it can help feed your plants, but at the same time will degrade slowly overtime so it is durable and strong.
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