The Q&A Archives: Old Row Boat as Planter

Question: I want to plant perennials in an old boat that I have painted as a lawn ornament. I heard that I need to put pea stones in the bottom then potting soil for planting my plants in my question is is it necessary to drill small holes in the bottom of the boat for drainage before placing the stones in first?

Answer: What a clever idea! You will definitely want to drill some holes in the bottom of the boat to assure good drainage - not just during the summer months, but also to keep the boat from filling with water during the rainy season. You can drill lots of one-inch holes or 3-4 six-inch holes in the bottom of the boat. If you have a slug or snail problem in your garden, cover the holes with some screening to keep them out. Place a layer of river rocks on the bottom of the boat, then sprinkle some gravel over the top. This double layer will facilitate good drainage, yet keep your potting soil from filtering through and draining out through the holes in the bottom of the boat. Fill the boat two-thirds full with potting soil, then plant your favorite plants. Keep it watered as often as necessary to keep the soil from drying out. Enjoy your new planter.

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