I am trying to determine whether including insulation in a raised planter is beneficial to plant survival during the cold (avg. temp = -10 to – 20 deg. cel) winter months? I have heard arguments for both using insulation and not using insulation, but have zero experience in the design and maintenance of raised planters. If insulation is recommended, what is the minimum thickness suggested?
I have received two separate proposals for approval – one with a raised planter on a parking structure, and one with a raised planter on the ground, with a concrete paving base. Both types of planters are proposed to have 0.2m (8″) wide concrete sides.
Dimensions of the raised planters on the concrete paving – 2m (6′) length x 1.4m (4.5′) width x 1m (3′) height. Perennials and junipers have been proposed in this style. Continuous drainage board and filter fabric around all sides and base have also been proposed.
The planters proposed on the parking structure have dimensions of 6-8m (20′-26′) length x 3.4m (11′) width x 1m (3′) height & 0.45m (1.5′) height. They, also, have filter fabric and drainage board proposed around the interior of the planter. These planters will hold trees, shrubs, and perennials.
These planters will both be located in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Thanks!
As a landscape designer in Maine I can tell you you will definatly need insulation in concrete planters in cold climates. Building types of insulation will work or you could use burlap, woven container fibers or hay. I’d also plant the perennials away from the edge. Eight inches is pretty thick so you could probably get away with an insulation layer of 1.5-2″ thick. Good luck
Thank you for responding Celeste. If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you one more question, based on your experience – what is the success rate for plant survival compared to not using insulation? Thanks again!
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