Flower or window box liners are plastic trays or sheets of coconut fiber used to line the bottom of flower or window boxes and planters before potting plants with soil inside.
There are so many reasons to use liners, especially in places where the weather conditions are in the extremes. Wonder if you should use liners in your window boxes? Well, read on to learn more.
Why Use Windowbox Liners?
Using liners for flower or a window planter box serve some practical purposes.
Throughout their long history, window boxes have been used to add a more aesthetic appeal to the home. They appear on the list of inexpensive and easy ways to add curb appeal and a more cohesive look to your house.
Their prolonged exposure to moist conditions may cause their surfaces to deteriorate, rust or rot and thereby break apart in due time. Window box liners are essential elements helping to extend the longevity of the window box by preventing direct contact of the container with the organic materials and water used by the plants.
Ideally, liners should have holes at the bottom which matches those of the boxes to drain out excess water. If water from the liner pools at the bottom of the “unlined” window box planter, there is a benefit of adding the liner.
A plastic liner can help avoid this problem and keep your planter dry no matter how many times you water the plants.
Window box liners made from coconut fiber are similar to hanging basket liners. Designed to hold water the coconut fiber liners like these, release water slowly to allow the plants to take root. Because the liners are porous, they allow for good drainage and aeration. Coconut has anti-fungal properties as well, which is helpful in preventing plant diseases.
More importantly, plastic and coconut liners make transferring plants from one container to another so much easier for you.
Rotating plants as the season’s change becomes less messy and takes a shorter amount of time since you can easily lift the flowers up by the liners and transfer to a different box, pot, planter or even terra cotta containers. You can also pre-plant new blooms ahead of time, so they are ready to be placed in your window when the right season rolls around.
When to Use Window Box Liners
With all the new materials found today in the garden you may have a PVC window box or one made from plastic. However that does not mean using liners will not help.
You can use planter liners all throughout the year. Even copper and planters with a medal powder coating on them will benefit. In fact, experts recommend using liners throughout the year even if you do not swap flowers seasonally to extend the life of your window boxes.
Liners can be used to pre-pot small plants for the coming season, such as spring bulbs you want to prepare during the winter. If you want to change the look of your house or windows by switching flowers, you can easily do so without having to uproot and throw away perfectly healthy plants.
Simply tuck in another liner of the blooms of your choice and store the other one in your shed or keep it indoors.
How to Use Flower Box Liners
Window or flower box liners install easily in a couple of minutes.
First, make sure the liners are the size that can fit inside the your box.
Here are a few examples of the most common sizes in both plastic and coco fiber:
- 18″ Poly-Pro Flower Box Planter Liner
- 24″ Coco Liners For Traditional Window Boxes
- 30″ Countryside Planter Liner
- 32″ Pottery Window Box
- 36″ Pre-Formed Coco Liner & Plastic Liner
Coco liners are more flexible and come in round shapes to fit hanging baskets and other shapes of plant troughs. You can also find plastic window box liners made of thin, flexible material you can clip to the side of the window box to prevent it from folding on itself.
Prior to potting, make sure the liners have drainage holes. You can make yourself if the liners do not have any.
To make installation even easier, pot your plants inside the liner while they are outside the box. Through this, you would be able to move the plants around and pat it down with little effort.
When filling the liner with soil, avoid overfilling it by keeping the soil a few inches below the lining level. After planting the plants safely inside the liner, you can easily slip the whole thing inside your window or flower box.
Having small planter box liners is not an excuse not to use them. Liners come in all sizes, and coconut liners are soft and flexible enough to be made to fit any size of the box you have. You can also cut plastic liners along the top so that they do not peek out from the window box.
Liners are simple yet effective tools for keeping your plants healthy and manageable. They:
- Promote water retention and good drainage at the same time
- Prolong the life of wooden flower boxes
- Allow for easy potting and installation of plants
- Make the rotation of seasonal blooms so much easier
The most popular names in liners, plastic or coconut are: AquaSav, Poly-Pro, Pennington and Bosmere
They are also very affordable. With all these advantages, there is no excuse not to use flower box liners in your home and garden.