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How to conserve/prepare external planter for Winter

Hi, I built a raised planter in my garden this summer some of the plants are beginning to die a bit. I'm a complete novice and don't know what to expect or do now the colder months are arriving. Can anyone less green, and more green fingered advise please? 



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,349
    What plants have you got in there and what is the planter made of?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • It’s got a few different plants in, some herbs- mint, sage. Lavender, a little bush which I’m not sure, bamboo, japanese acer. 

    The planter is about 1m off the ground and has a ply carcass with tarp liner.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,574
    Is it possible you could post some photos of the planter and its contents, please? It's a lot easier to come up with advice or a solution if the problem is made visual. You can attach photos by clicking on the icon that looks like a mountain with a dot (the sun?).
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    Sage and lavender aren't likely to be happy alongside an Acer and a bamboo.
    They like very different conditions. 
    Bamboos get very big too- in every direction, so really aren't ideal for planting with anything else. They'd need a big container, and kept separated from other plants, even the clumping ones.

    When you say a 'tarp liner' is that waterproof? Any timber bed [and I presume you're using exterior ply?] benefits from a waterproof liner to help prevent moisture loss and to keep the timber from rotting too quickly. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Yes, it’s exterior grade ply and I’ve treated it. The tarp is waterproof. That’s a pic of it in the summer btw
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,574
    It looks beautiful but it isn't the right size for shrubs and trees.
    Does the trough have drainage holes and are the plants in separate pots or planted into soil in the trough?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    I think I misunderstood when you said it was a metre off the ground. I thought you meant it was a metre in height. Apologies.
    Are all the plants in pots or are they planted into a soil mix? Are there drainage holes in the base?
    I think you may find it'll be too crowded in another year. There isn't a lot of depth, or volume there, which is needed for anything shrubby. Acers are slow growing, so that would be ok for a while, but they do need adequate moisture to thrive well, and they need a soil based medium - not just compost, so you need to ensure that's in place for it.
    The herbs will be ok if the drainage is fine, but you may find some will fare better than others, and mint will outgrow most plants and take over. It's why people plant it in pots rather than into a border. Lavender and sage need sharp drainage and sun to do well, so that may be a problem if they aren't getting enough. Sage isn't particularly hardy everywhere either, so it can depend where you are, and what variety it is.
    I can't really tell what the other plants are - the one on the far left looks like an ash, which would be a big mistake if it is, but I'm guessing it isn't that. Someone else might be able to ID that properly though. The daisy flowered one might be ok if it's hardy, and the grass, so they should be fine for a while.
    It looks like you have a Hebe on the left - partially hidden. Some of those aren't reliably hardy - especially variegated ones, so again, if it is one -it'll depend on your location as to how well that will do. Like anything else shrubby/woody, it needs a soil based medium, but they also need good drainage.

    As it's against a wall, the other problem can be lack of moisture, as walls are often in a raind shadow. That's where it's important to have the right soil mix, and to have planting that will all like similar conditions. One thing you can do with a planter is to divide it up so that you can have plants which enjoy different conditions. I do that with my raised beds.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,040
    edited 20 October
    The plant on the left is Nandina domestica or Heavenly Bamboo, a small evergreen shrub which can reach a height of 2m. It’s not really suitable for a planter of that size @hectoralamone01328 so will need relocating once it starts to spread.
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • They’re all in the same soil, yes. No pots / separation. I put a drainage layer of stones at the bottom and there is an outlet.

    What do I do in the winter then? Just leave it all to die/come back? Will it even come back?

    Should I water it or just let the rain do the work? 
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