View Full Version : gardening question kind sirs

11-24-2008, 09:47 AM
i have it in mind to build swmbo a 'planter' , a rectangular box shape , sitting on the ground , say about 8' long x 2~3 ' deep and maybe 2' high , good for roses , shrubs , juniper ..

the problem is this , it will sit directly on top of a 'back fill' material , made from blasted rock , aggregate , and gravel, so what do i need to do ?

will i need some sort or semi permeable barrier or layer , landscape fabic etc to begin with and what type of soil goes in the bed , do i need a whole lot of hummusy stuff in the soil to hold up the moisture ?:confused:

Greg P H
11-24-2008, 11:21 AM
Line the sides and the bottom with landscape fabric, it will allow for drainage, and will keep the soil from leaching out. You could also line the sides with plastic if you want, it will help the wood last longer. Sitting on loose rubble is good, because you want drainage.
Oterwise all you are building is a bathtub, and more plants die from too much water than too little.

Same with the soil, it needs to be well drained. Unless you go and buy a "planting mix" , you can make your own by mixing about 2/3 topsoil, with 1/3 shredded pine bark, and 1/3 peat HUMUS, (peat moss is ok, but humus is better).

And since your up there in the frozen north... everything in the planter is going to have it's roots much more exposed to the winter cold, than would happen when they are in the earth, don't plant anything tender!

11-24-2008, 12:15 PM
thanks , mr p h

i always wondered about raised beds and frost , good post

11-24-2008, 12:53 PM
also thought of building it out of fairly heavy timbers to gain protection, i found some 8x8 hemlock once , for cheap , about 8 bucks a piece

either that or maybe field stone would be nice

11-24-2008, 01:23 PM
How and where to plant your roses depends on how cold it gets in the winter where you live.

I planted beautiful rose bushes in a planter like what you are talking about. My husband built it out of railroad ties from the 60's. Must be about 12' long 2' wide and 2.5'tall.

Of all the rose bushes I planted there, only two are still alive.
They are very vulnerable in this kind of bed or box, because the freeze gets to the roots from the sides.

Because of the, sometimes extreme cold weather, they don't survive very well in a flower-box, or if they do, it's because you have worked hard for it...

In addition to regular "winter blankets" my roses get, I stack bales of straw or hay, (depending on what I have here at the farm) closely all around the "planter box", to make sure that freezing weather doesn't get to their roots.

If I could do it all over again, I'd plant the roses in lower beds, where they have lots of soil insulating them...

That kind of bed is wonderful for annuals though, and that's what I've planted there every year...

Good luck...and happy gardening...

Greg P H
11-24-2008, 02:33 PM
Donn, depends how you look at it...... ;)

It's mostly the freeze thaw cycle that you're attempting to moderate. You want the ground to freeze and sfay frozen, but you want it to freeze and thaw slowly, rather than constantly flipping back and forth. The warming of soil makes the plant think it's time to grow, and the refreezing makes it need to shut down again. Any kind of extra insulation is good.

Make sure the boxes are saturated when you winterize them, cold wind will suck all the moisture out of the plants and soil too.

Spin, have you tried spraying the roses with an anti-desiccant like Wilt Pruf, before putting them to sleep? It helps a lot, as long as the root hardiness is right for the zone.

11-24-2008, 02:42 PM

got a couple of the parkland series , should they be cropped now ?

Greg P H
11-24-2008, 03:04 PM
Only light structural pruning and removing dead wood.

Best is spring, but I don't know if those roses bloom on old or new growth. Climbers tend to bloom on old growth, as well as the one time bloomers, so you wait until after they bloom.
The ones that bloom through out the summer bloom on new growth, so a heavy spring pruning and constant summer pruning encourages more growth and flowers.

Leon m
11-24-2008, 03:28 PM
thanks , mr p h

i always wondered about raised beds and frost , good post

A 8'x 3'x2' raised bed is gunna freeze like a brick...roses won't make it. Although it would make a nice annual flower bed, or veggie garden.