Waterproofing & drainage aids for Planters

WATERPROOF MEMBRANE

Even though Quatro pots and planters are designed and manufactured to be water-tight, for peace of mind you may also want to have the internal surface water-proofed.

We offer two waterproofing membrane options:

Option 1 — an acrylic water-proof membrane applied to the internal surfaces.  This membrane is suitable where the product is being used as a planter.  It is not suitable if the product is being used as a water-feature.

Option 2 — a bitumen-based water-proof membrane applied to the internal surfaces.  This membrane is suitable for use in water-features.

If Quatro pots and planters are to be painted we water-proof the internal surface with the acrylic membrane (see Option 1 above).  We do this even though we have used Xypex in the manufacture.  It can take several days before Xypex fully does its job in blocking off any capillaries in the concrete material.  In the meantime, water vapour may move through the planter wall and cause the paint on the outer surface to blister.  The waterproof membrane on the inside surface prevents this from happening.

Draineze drainage hole screen

Keeping the drainage holes in the base of pots and planters from getting blocked is important to ensure good drainage.  The growing media/potting mix can block the holes causing water-logging which in turn can cause root rot in the plants.

Various approaches are typically used to ensure good drainage in pots, such as putting a layer of gravel in first and covering with flyscreen mesh or geofabric.  Here at Quatro Design, we’ve come up with a new and simple device to facilitate good pot drainage — the DrainEZE drainage hole screen.

The device (patent pending) is a conical dome with vertical openings to enable water to pass into an air chamber above the drainage hole.  This greatly increases the area through which water can pass, compared to the drainage hole by itself.

To prevent soil from passing through into the air chamber and then blocking the drainage hole, the moulded plastic device is covered with geofabric that is secured at the top with a press-on clip. The geofabric extends out on to the floor of the pot where it is covered with the growing media.  Click here on the  DrainEZE drainage hole screen video animation to see how it works.

The DrainEZE drainage hole screen is now fitted as standard on all Quatro Design planters.  In our factory we glue-fix them over the drainage holes so all you need to do is fill the planters with a good quality growing media.

Versiflex Flexible drainage cell

 Versiflex is an interlocking drainage cell than is laid on the floor of planters to ensure good drainage of the soil media in which plants

are growing. It is a large scale alternative to the DrainEZE drainage hole screen described above, and it is particularly suitable for larger planters.

Versiflex creates a 30mm high void layer on the floor of the planter which is then covered with permeable geofabric to prevent soil passing through.  Excess water, however, can  pass through the geofabric into the void and then out through the drainage hole(s).

We can supply planters fitted with Versiflex drainage cell and geofabric covering.  Versiflex comes in 500mm square modules that interlock to create a seemless layer.  Cost will depend on the floor area of the planter to be covered. 

DRAINAGE REGULATOR RISER

In most outdoor situations you will want your pots and planter-boxes to have drainage holes in the base.

However, following watering of the plants excess water can drain out through the drainage holes onto your concrete, tiles or pavers, presenting a sliphazard and leaving stains from tanins in the mulch-based potting mix.

One way to miminise this excess water from dripping out every time the planter is watered is by adding a Drainage Regulator Riser.  This PVC riser has the effect of raising the height of the drainage hole(s) in the planter. The Drainage Regulator Riser  is glue-fixed over the drainage hole which means that excess water in the planter would need to rise to the height of the ‘window’ openings before draining out through the drainage hole.  The  Drainage Regulator Riser is wrapped in geo-fabric to prevent soil/potting mix from blocking the drainage outlet.

Some issues to consider with the drainage regulator riser:

Use a good quality potting mix.  When a Drainage Regulator Riser is installed, any excess water from watering or from heavy rain will sit in the bottom of the planter.  With a good quality growing media, this excess water will wick up to the roots of the plants and be used by them.

Don’t over-water.  If the planter has a Drainage Regulator Riser installed and you have dripping from the planter following watering, this indicates that you are over-watering and the plants have not been able to use all of the water from the previous waterings.  If this situation continues over an extended time then the plants may experience root-rot from being immersed in water.

We do not recommend the use of the Drainage Regulator Riser when the planter is being watered with a timer-based irrigation system.  This is because watering occurs according to the timer’s schedule, not according to the moisture requirements of the plants.  Over-watering is likely to occur, and the excess water will be trapped in the planter leading to plant root-rot.

When ordering pots or planter boxes, let us know if you would like Drainage Regulator Risers installed.


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