W ant to play around with the layout of your garden and create a colourful display of fragrant herbs, colourful flowers, or even seasonal vegetables? You can achieve all this by using trough planters, which are a pretty and practical choice. Trough planters can act as a focal point for your home’s entrance, kitchen windowsill, patio, or garden when they are attractively adorned.
Why Should You Use a Trough?
Large or small, growing plants in a trough planter has many advantages over conventional gardening.
- Increases outdoor area – If you live in an apartment or a house without an outdoor area where you can grow plants, using a trough planter offers a way to start gardening. Depending on your design and garden ideas, the planter can be positioned on a patio, balcony, or driveway.
- Enhanced accessibility – Because of its height, using a trough planter relieves physical strain and makes gardening accessible to those with limited mobility.
- Improved soil composition – These types of pots offer you a chance to create soil with improved levels of organic matter, water-holding capacity, and aeration.
- Less weed and pest issues – Fewer weed seeds result from better soil, and a trough’s high sides deter many pests from climbing up into your garden.
- Increased plant yields – This is due to better soil structure, high levels of organic matter, protection from the cold ground and fewer pest issues.
How to Choose the Right Planter?
The type of planter, though frequently disregarded, has a significant impact on all aspects of plant growth, from the strength of the roots to the rate of expansion. The good news is, with the range of garden troughs available, you won’t have a hard time finding one to suit your preferences and plants’ needs.
Before settling on a pot, consider the following factors to get the right solution for your outdoor space and garden needs.
Undoubtedly, one of the most robust and versatile planter materials is stone. Sturdy and able to withstand all kinds of conditions, a stone trough is an excellent choice for large, massive plants like trees and shrubs. One of the main reasons to get a stone trough planter is that you can leave it outside all year long because it won’t be impacted by the weather.
Stone troughs can take on an old, mossy appearance if left uncovered and unfinished. This is excellent news if you want to design a more rustic, cottage-style garden. But if you want a more colourful aesthetic or a clean look that matches more contemporary spaces, these planters can be stained or painted.
The stone’s roughness and ability to soak up the warmth from the sun also help maintain heat inside the planter. As a result, the soil in a stone trough planter will be slightly warmer than the one in a standard pot. Stone planters are a fantastic choice for warm-season plants because they thrive in hot temperatures. You will also be able to extend the growing season a little even if the weather outside begins to chill off.
There is a drawback to this planter material, though. Stone planters may not be suitable for some balconies and decks due to their weight.
Planters constructed of wood can be made to order or prefabricated. Additionally, you can paint or stain the wood in any colour you like to complement or improve the landscaping or architectural style of your outdoor space.
If you love the look of a wooden trough, it’s recommended to pick cedar or teak. These are untreated woods known to be mould, pest and weather-resistant. Although pressure-treated wood is a weather-resistant alternative as well, the chemicals it contains leach into the soil and hurt your crop.
Plastic planters are popular choices because they are lightweight, affordable, and come in various sizes, shapes, and colours. If you decide to use a plastic trough for gardening, go for one made of plastic composites. During the manufacturing process, this material is reinforced with fibres, fillers, or powders to increase its firmness and capacity to hold more soil. Additionally, it guards against cracking when outside in the cold or sun.
Keep in mind that bigger containers make it easier to cultivate plants than smaller ones when deciding the size of your trough planter. Large containers can carry more soil, which can endure unexpected temperature fluctuations and retain moisture for longer. Small ones are particularly prone to drying out, so to keep the plants alive during the hot summer, you might need to water them twice a day.
It’s also essential to think about the plant you wish to cultivate in each container. Numerous factors affect the planter’s required size and depth. Regardless of whether a plant is a perennial, annual, or shrub, pay attention to the size, shape, and pace of growth of the root system.
Rootbound plants won’t thrive since they dry out soon and have taken up every possible square centimetre of soil. Select a sizable pot or tub for your mixed planting with enough room for the roots of all the plants you intend to grow. The soil is typically kept warmer in darker containers than in lighter ones.
No matter what they’re made of, all planters must include drainage holes. If there are no drainage holes, the soil may overflow, which may lead to plant death. Many drainage holes are not required, but there must be enough to allow for the drainage of any extra water. If there isn’t one already there, you’ll need to create it.
How Do You Prepare a Trough for Planting?
The planters should be moved into position before being filled and planted because they are heavy once loaded with soil. To stop it from washing out of the holes as you add the mix, cover them with a layer of paper towels first. You can use less potting soil even in containers that are very deep. The trick is to cover the bottom with pebbles which will also provide drainage.
For troughs, regular garden soil can be too compact. To solve this problem, fill containers up to one gallon in size with a houseplant soil blend. Additionally, a coarse soilless planting mixture can support preserving the essential balance of water and air if you need to plant in a larger container.
Ordinary garden soil is too dense for troughs. That said, use a houseplant soil mixture for containers up to one gallon in size. And if you need to plant in a larger container, a coarse soilless planting mixture can help maintain the necessary water and air balance.
Pre-wet the soil by soaking it before or after many fills of the planter with water and stirring. Make sure it remains continually moist before planting.
Which Plants Are the Most Suitable for Troughs?
Almost all veggies, flowers, herbs, shrubs and small trees can thrive in a trough planter. Compact and dwarf cultivars are the best, especially for smaller pots. Use plants that will flourish in the area and the amount of sun or lack thereof the planter will receive.