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Large Wooden Planter


I have just built a large two tier planter out of sleepers. See pic attached. I'm struggling to find any advice on the internet that answer the three questions I have, so hopefully you can help!

1. Should I line the planter sides to protect the wood? The base of each tier is actually soil because the indian stone stops at the first tier. If I should line the sides, will plastic bin liners stapled to the wood suffice?

2.  What do I fill the tiers with? purely soil, purely compost or a mixture of both? Or something else? Im not planning on growing any fruit or veg in the planters. It will be used simply for plants, flowers and a few climbers at the back to hide the wall. The front tier is not to deep, i'd say 50cm or so, however, the back tier is double the depth so will require a lot more.

3. Any suggestions for a good climber, something that wont eat away at my neighbours mortar. The wall and planter only gets the sun in the morning. Its quite a shaded spot.


Thanks in advance!!


  • sanjy67sanjy67 Posts: 1,007

    when i made wooden planters last year on wheels, i used a roofing membrane to line mine withe a hammer stapler but i don't think you would have room to swing one in your planter, if you can't get that to line them with maybe some cut open on two of the sides compost bags (black side facing into planter.

    if the back tier is open right to the ground it will take an awful lot of filling, if so i personally would fill 2/3's with garden soil and top 1/3 with john innes no.3, i guess you could mix in some multi purpose compost to bulk it out a bit as might be expensive.

    as the back one is pretty deep you could have a nice clematis in there if you fixed up a trellis

  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,482

    I lined my wooden planter with plastic sheeting. I made cuts in the bottom for drainage and then put a few inches of broken up polystyrene in the bottom to act as drainage, before filling with compost.

    A suitable clematis, climbing hydrangea or honey suckle might work in your aspect, maybe ask your neighbour if you can fix a trellis to the wall, or some wire twine?

    Heres the one I made..


    Last edited: 12 May 2016 23:01:16

  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 234

    If its the neighbour's wall remember you need their permission to fix anything to it. You could fix trellis to the back of the planter instead.

    When I filled my raised bed anything and everything went in. Rocks/rubble at the bottom, any extra garden soil, half a bag of sand, chinchilla and rabbit bedding, leaf mould, bag of manure and finally enough soil-based compost for the top inch or so. It's doing quite well, no obvious shrinkage, which is why I didn't want to just fill with multi purpose compost.

    Agree with the clematis as climber, they even prefer their roots in shade! I can't see how long the planter is, but you could try two different coloured clematis flowers, planting one at each end.

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