Plastic garden planters are a popular solution to many landscaping and gardening needs. They are lightweight, portable, inexpensive, and can be found in any color or style you may want. The plastic used in these planters is as durable as your siding and plumbing. But, there are some things you can do to protect your plastic planters in the cold weather coming up.
Just like any other PVC material, your plastic garden planters can deteriorate in direct sunlight. Although this is one of the most durable products, the long days of summer, with direct sunlight shining on the pots, can weaken the material. But with lush plantings, the plants actually absorb the sunshine, rather than letting the rays reach the plastic. The winter sun, however, can create a problem by unevenly warming the surface of a frozen planter. This may cause cracks in the planter. If you can, move the planter out of the sun to protect it from uneven warming.
Water, of course, expands as it freezes. While plants still need water during the winter in order to keep the roots healthy, too much water may damage your pots, expanding them more than they can adapt to in freezing weather. This can be exacerbated by the freeze-thaw cycle, in which snow piled up on and in a planter melts during the day, and refreezes at night. This will break down your plastic planters faster than anything. And, most of the time, those planters do not have any plants in them, anyway.
With colder temperatures, your plastic planters may become brittle. This is not much of a problem as long as nothing strikes the surface. If you can, keep these planters out of the way, so that you do not run the risk of hitting them with a snow blower or other machinery. Even pets running through the snow can careen into a frozen planter, shattering it unexpectedly.
The gauge of plastic you select for your planters is important. More durable products are heavy gauge, meaning they are thicker plastic. This is, of course, stronger than thin or light-weight plastic.
Face it – in the winter, not much will grow in your garden. Sure, you may plant flat after flat of pansies and cabbage plants, but the truth is, most of your plastic planters will sit idle during the winter season, covered in snow and not even visible.
If this is the case, store those planters. Even if you do not have a climate control storage unit, having the planters out of winter weather will extend the life. They will not be subject to fluctuations of moisture, and even if they freeze, there will not be any pressure on them from a growing root ball. Many people simply move the emptied pots to the lee side of their house or shed, just to keep them out of the way and to protect them from winter storms.