In the past, all our planters were built from tanalised railway sleepers. The treatment of the wood gives them a life span of at least 10 years. They need no further treatment.
But in our efforts to become increasingly sustainable we are now, wherever possible, sourcing local timber, which is either recycled, or from sustainable forestry. And we continue to explore ways to make the planters long-lasting without the need to impregnate the timber with chemicals and metals.
Timber size varies depending on availability, but is commonly 20cm x 10cm, or 25cm x 10cm.
Standard sizes of planters are 240cm x 120cm and 120cm x 120cm but again this may vary depending upon availability of timber.
We also have self-watering planters, which measure 120cm x 100xm, and feature an in-built watering system to ensure the plants never dehydrate.
Our original planters were three sleepers high, 60cm. We have now moved to a lower planter which is two sleepers high, 40cm or 50cm depending on timber.
We find that the roots of the plants rarely go below 40cm, so deeper planters are wasteful of soil and can leave plants struggling for water. The lower height makes for less watering and healthier plants.
We can also supply simple raised beds between 10cm and 15cm high, again depending on timber availability.
We can quote for planters of different shapes and sizes on request.
Planters are lined and filled with a mix of topsoil and peat-free compost, topped with bark or chippings. In a large planter we add a handful of worms.
On hard surfaces (e.g., tarmac) we also line the bottom to retain water. On soil or grass surfaces we do not line the bottom, to allow the ecosystem of the planter to combine with that of the environment it sits on. We are continuing in our efforts to source a sustainable liner.
We drill large holes in the base of the planters to give access to insects and invertebrates, so that the planters become home not just to plants but to a wide variety of living creatures.