While planting technique does depend somewhat on the type of plant going into the larger sized Greenville planter, these basic general principles apply. Firstly, for outdoor locations, the planter must have drainage holes drilled into the bottom. This is easily done with a hand-held portable drill and a one-half inch drill bit. We suggest one hole per one square foot of bottom area with a minimum of four holes for any given planter. Holes should be drilled while the planter is still in its protective carton by carefully lying it on its side and opening the box flaps. Once these are drilled, close the flaps and move the boxed planter to its final placement position, then remove it from the carton.

Clean large-sized stone that cannot block the drainage holes should then be placed in the bottom. The amount is dependant on how much ballast is required, but generally a six-inch layer is a good starting point. If additional weight is required, for example, on a windy condo balcony or rooftop, or a downtown location where planter theft might be a problem, then a sandbag can also be placed on top of the stone. The size and weight of this sandbag is left to each installer’s requirement.   

At this point many landscapers with simply fill much of the open space inside the planter with a bulking material such as Styrofoam, empty old plastic pots, or other lightweight material. The idea is to reduce the amount of potting soil placed into the planter. This, of course, is dependent on the needs of the type of plant(s) going in. A tree will require more and deeper soil than annuals for example.

Landscape cloth, sometimes called filter cloth, is place over the bulking material, up the sides and over the rim. More than one layer can be used as an internal ‘insert’ is formed from this cloth to hold the soil. The cloth will hold the soil in place while allowing water to penetrate the cloth and exit through the drainage holes. We recommend that only lightweight potting soils be used. Never use a garden soil, topsoil or a clay soil.

Once the planting has been finalized, the excess filter cloth that is draped over the rim can be trimmed back. Within a short time period, the foliage of the plant will hide any exposed landscape cloth.

Then, sit back and enjoy the scenery as your plants take shape!