Making a statement: What to consider when picking wooden planter

Vegetables in a foldable wooden planter at a Kitchen garden. FILE PHOTO | POOL

From wooden crates to wooden hanging stools, using wood as a planter can make a very distinct organic and eco-friendly design statement about your home and garden.

Not only do wooden planters beautify your home, but they are also reliable if you work on a small space like an apartment balcony or a small patio.

You can still use wooden planters in your home garden area just to spruce up things.

Fridah Kanini stumbled on the beauty of wooden planters three years ago.

Vegetables in a rustic wooden planter lined with a plastic sheet. FILE PHOTO | POOL 

“The need to have activities to engage my child during the Covid-19 pandemic is what inspired me. I wanted my son to have some sense of responsibility, so I created the first set of indoor pots using pallets and they came out quite beautifully,” she says.

Ms Kanini placed them on her balcony and planted dhania, sage, basil, and spinach, which did very well.

“I thought other parents might need the same for their children, thus I began commercialising the project,” she says of the moment that led her to co-found Woodchuck Gardens Kenya.

She says wooden planters are helpful for people whose soil is unsuitable for gardening. They can get suitable soil from elsewhere and put it in the wooden planters, allowing them to grow exotic plants and flowers uncommon in your region.

Choosing a wooden planter that allows light to get to the plants, can survive the water spill, and sustain a decent weight is preferable.

Extending its lifespan

Wood can be very susceptible to rot as a result of exposure to soil and water. If growing plants or flowers for ornamental purposes, applying a chemical to the inside and outside of the planter can extend its lifespan.

However, when growing edible plants, Ms Kanini advises keeping off wood sealers as the chemical can be absorbed into the plant through its roots.

“We apply a layer of non-toxic varnish to the wood, then line the interior with plastic to protect it from moisture. This lengthens the lifespan of the wooden planter,” Ms Kanini explains.

Ms Kanini adds that the choice of wood used in their planter also greatly determines its durability. Good wood should be resistant to rot, damage, and insects.

The best wooden planters are made from Oak trees, cedar, Redwood, Cypress, and teak.

Hanging wooden planter by Woodchuck Gardens Kenya. FILE PHOTO | POOL 

Designs for your wooden planter

“You can make wooden hanging baskets. These baskets are made of light wood and are suspended by hooks. They are perfect for cascading plants,” says Ms Kanini, adding, “You can also get yourself wooden crates which are very good, especially if you want to give your space a rustic look.”

Other designs include a foldable plant stand that can accommodate at least some small and medium-sized plants.

“You can also make Wooden planter boxes which may come in different shapes and designs. They can be placed indoors or outdoors- on the ground, hung, or on a stand,” says Fridah.

Which plants and flowers can you grow in your wooden planters?

Vegetables in beautifully furnished wooden planters at a Kitchen garden. FILE PHOTO | POOL 

“Most plants do well in wooden planters. Herbs such as dhania, basil, rosemary, thyme, geranium, hibiscus, and sage thrive on wooden planters. Vegetables such as lettuce and spinach also do well, but one needs to be careful to not overcrowd the planters,” says Ms Kanini.

Flowers such as petunias and marigolds can also thrive in wooden planters.

Caring for the wooden planters

“Water is one of the main concerns regarding wooden pots. Our pots have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain. We also recommend small stones at the bottom of the pot to facilitate proper drainage for our clients. Additionally, one should be careful while watering to ensure they are not overwatering as this could lead to root decay in plants,” says Ms Kanini.

Vegetables in a rustic wooden planter lined with a plastic sheet. FILE PHOTO | POOL 

Cleaning outdoor wood planters could give them back their original colour. After cleaning, use coloured oil to give your wooden planter its original colour.

Wooden planters are very reliable for people with little garden space, who want to put plants in their office space, and people looking for eco-friendly ways of beautifying their spaces.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.