How to Fill a Planter Box


Maintaining a garden of container plants is a good way to enjoy gardening when you lack the yard space. Container gardens are popular in apartments, homes with small yards and as kitchen herb planters for ease of access. Filling a planter is a simple process, regardless of the type of plants that will grow in it.

Step 1

Place the planter in your windowsill or on your patio. If you live in an apartment with a balcony, you can place the planter box on your balcony floor.

Step 2

Place the thick plastic sheet into the planter, smoothing it up the sides of the planter as well. This is to hold in moisture and prevent the roots of your plants from escaping through the bottom of your planter box.

Step 3

Cover the thick plastic sheet lining the planter with a 3-inch layer of sphagnum moss. This will be used to retain moisture for the health of your plants, because planter boxes often lose moisture quickly.

Step 4

Cover the moss with potting soil. Fill the planter only halfway full, leaving a big enough space for the plants to sprout and grow.

Step 5

Plant your choice of seeds in the planter whether they be flowers, herbs or vegetables. You can even plant small fruit trees in planters.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not under-water a container plant. Doing so can stimulate the roots of the plants to grow deeper, which can cause them to break through the cracks in the bottom or become so cramped that the plant eventually dies. Give your planter box garden frequent, short drinks of water to keep the root systems shallow, making the plants easier to maintain in the container.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden or windowsill planter
  • Sheet of thick black or clear plastic (to line the planter)
  • Potting soil
  • Sphagnum moss


  • Container Garden Tips
Keywords: planters, filling a planter, container gardening

About this Author

Chelsea Hoffman is a professional freelance writer with works published both on the Web and in print. She currently resides in Las Vegas. The author of the new series of horror novellas, titled "Fear Chronicles," Hoffman's work can also be found on environmental websites like, where she helps spread environmental awareness with her mighty pen.