Preparing concrete wall planter

ptr727July 21, 2013

Hi, I would like some advice on how to prepare a planter.

See pictures.
The planter is built against the property wall.
The property wall is concrete blocks.
The planter is poured concrete.
The planter is 3' wide.
The planter starts about 4' deep, and ends about 2' deep.
The surrounding patio is poured concrete.
The bottom of the planter is partially covered by the wall footing, the rest is open to the ground below.

I will be planting tall trees / shrubs for privacy from the neighbor on the tall end of the planter.

I would like advice on how to prepare the inside of the planter.

Do I need to lay down a barrier to keep roots from going deeper than the bottom of the planter?
Do I need to install drainage at the bottom of the planter, or just an overflow drain?
What materials in what layers do I use to fill the planter?

Thank you.
P.

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gardengal48

Unless you are growing water or bog plants, you need bottom drainage or weep holes at the base of the planter. Otherwise, you want to fill the planter with a uniform mix of potting soil - no drain rock at bottom, no barrier, no garden soil, just a good quality potting soil.

This looks like an excellent situation for some type of bamboo - the planter is a bit too restrictive for much else that will develop any height for privacy. Equisetum can work also.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:03PM
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emmarene

May we see the face of the planter?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:37AM
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ptr727

Hi, thank you for the replies.

The bottom of the planter is open to the original soil, it is not sealed.
Is that sufficient drainage, or would I not want the water to drain underneath the patio and wall footing?

I am adding a picture showing the entire planter and wall.

P.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:44AM
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marcinde(7)

We're doing a job right now where someone 15-20 years ago installed masonry planters against the lower level of a home with the theory that a soil bottom and no other draiange was fine. We're now core drilling drain holes at intervals along the wall base, prior to the contractor replacing everything on the house that's rotted. Just FYI.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:44PM
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ptr727

Ok, sounds like bottom drainage is a good idea then.

I've seen both flexible corrugated and rigid drilled pipe used, what would you suggest I use?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:44AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Rigid perforated wrapped in filter cloth -

A note on soil - a potting soil will decompose ( shrink) and compact a bit too fast. I'd suggest a planting mix.

We're working a somewhat similar project . photo attached.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:34AM
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