Making trough planters - 24. February 2021

With trough planters or flower boxes, you can produce amazing quantities of vegetables, even if you don't have a large garden.

These containers can be purchased at a garden centre or you can even make them yourself using pallets and frames. For a more decorative effect, a great idea is to use a wine barrel cut in half.

But how do we ensure good growth and a healthy substrate for our plants? Unfortunately, it is not enough to just fill the container. A drainage layer is required to prevent water from sitting at the bottom, choking the roots, and causing them to rot.

First, make sure that the excess water can flow out, by making a hole one third or about 10 cm from the bottom of the tray. This will allow excess water to flow out.

Next, fill a third of the container with a drainage layer consisting of wood chips, gravel, or clay balls.

Cover the drainage layer with a geotextile (a kind of non-woven fabric). This will prevent the irrigation water from draining the soil into the drainage layer.

Then, fill the remaining two thirds of the container with a good quality soil - organic and without peat if possible. Press lightly, but do not over-compact the soil!

If you want to see in practice how the trough planters are made, check out our video.