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Large Garden Planter - Filling Ideas

Over the Easter weekend, I will be making a very large planter for the garden, roughly 4m long by 80cm deep to run down one side of the garden. If anyone has any pointers what to fill it with, as it will take a lot of soil to fill it all up. What can I use to fill it half way up so that it doesn't weigh 3 tonnes should I need to move it, or anything like that.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,224
    If you want things to grow it has to be filled with a layer at the bottom to allow drainage and then a decently thick layer of good planting medium which can be soil or bought in compost.  I fail to see how you think you'll move something that long and deep unless you fill it with polystyrene packaging and some plastic plants.

    I suggest you make it bottomless to help with the drainage and get it right first time so you never have to move it and that will include making sure any fence or wall behind it is sound.  As for compost choices, I'd go for 2 parts John Innes to 1 part multi-purpose so that it retains some moisture when watered but not so much it clags.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,971
    You'll not move it! In terms of filling it for economy's sake I'd probably go with 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 multipurpose compost and 1/3 sharp sand but it depends entirely what you are planting in it.
  • DanCDanC Posts: 10
    I intend to make it bottomless, the fence behind is a little shakey, but my plan is to have it against the fence to in turn give that some support as well, trying to kill 2 birds with one stone so to speak. To be fair, i doubt I will move it... I can just build another when the time comes to sell the house. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,224
    Then how you fill it will depend on the depth as well as what you want to grow in it.   Ericaceous plants clearly need suitable compost with no lime; alpine plants, succulents and plants that like good drainage will want more loam and some grit and no multi-purpose and so on and so forth. 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Post a request on Freecycle to see if anyone in your area has soil and/or rubble they want to get rid of.
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