By Rod Tyler, GardenSoxx
Photographs courtesy of GardenSoxx
Many gardeners use borders to keep their gardens nice and tidy. From 4x4 gardens to raised bed gardens to borders for turf, pathways, and other areas, there are a number of products to choose from. There are wooden borders, plastic borders, and block wall borders that match walkways. All are very affordable, stylish and should fit the style of the garden that you are designing. However, there are very few plantable borders.
Plantable borders? Yes! GardenSoxx is a flexible mesh planter that can be laid out into many shapes, including curving borders for your planting beds. When planted with flowers they really stand out because the black mesh makes the colored flowers pop. GardenSoxx are filled with locally made compost, or any quality potting mix. One cubic foot bag makes a two-foot section of GardenSoxx. Used in quantity, you can literally make any shape you want, including plantable borders.
Using GardenSoxx for borders helps with defining the line in the landscape. The first design element in any landscape plan is line. Straight lines, S curves, even lines that define shapes for kids' gardens can be made with this material. Where you want paths to go and what type of character you want them to have is sometimes limited with landscape timbers, rigid plastic edging or other choices. GardenSoxx can be configured however you like, while still holding back the deeper soil in your gardens or planting beds.
Perhaps the most common use for the GardenSoxx as a border is with a gravel or paver walkway when you want to keep the soil from washing into the walkway from the planting beds. Since the GardenSoxx also act as a filter, little to no soil movement moves through the actual filled soxx. GardenSoxx are also a natural raised bed since they are 8” in diameter so the plants are elevated above the walkway, creating a nice natural pathway feeling while looking clean and neat. Add an auto timer and drip irrigation which goes inside the mesh, and you can nearly eliminate the two main issues with borders…watering and weeding.
Some plants like petunias, vinca, and impatiens are so happy in this system they may completely cover the GardenSoxx by the end of the growing season. Once they die back, simply cut the plant off below the soil line and replant next season. If you want to plant perennials, you can save money by ordering smaller plants instead of one-gallon plants. Order plugs from a reputable source that sells deep 50- or 75-plug trays. Plant spacing should be eight plants per soxx for annuals (four on each side of the drip tube) and four plants per soxx (two on each side) for perennials.
Perennials eventually root through the soxx into the ground. The soxx become nearly invisible. Annuals typically will last about three years before the soxx need to be replaced. In that case, the old material inside the soxx can be recycled right there in the planting bed on top as a great organic topdress mix, still full of great microbes, worms, and other microflora, but fewer nutrients than when you started.