The Q&A Archives: Container planting

Question: I will be using a cedar box this year to plant some perennials. Should I line the box with plastic before filling with dirt?

Answer: I'd advise against lining the planter with plastic. Cedar can tolerate moist conditions for many years without deteriorating and it makes an excellent planting box because the wood will breathe and help with soil drainage and aeration. Lining it with plastic can keep the potting soil too moist. I'd also recommend you use potting soil rather than garden soil in your cedar planter. Potting soil contains organic matter, sand, and perlite or vermiculite. It's light weight even when wet; drains perfectly yet hold just the right amount of moisture to keep plant roots healthy. Best of all it is easy for roots to penetrate. Garden soil can dry out to the point that it's hard to re-wet. Best wishes with your planter!

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