I just bought a couple of semi-dwarf Mexican lime trees in 5 gal.
containers. I also bought a couple of cedar planters for them. The planters
look like it wouldn't take more than a couple of years before they would
turn into compost from frequent watering. I was wondering if I could coat
the insides with something like Thompson's water repellant to make them last
longer ...... or would it poison the plants? Any comments or tips would be
The cedar should be quite rot resistant, but you are right .. a lining
would greatly extend its life.
Avoid the water seal .. it's not even a good long-term deck treatment.
It's usually just a thin penetrating solvent with a low percentage of
dissolved wax or silicone, and will quickly dissipate.
A better and very easy solution is to use some old plastic tarp sheeting
(the cheap blue or green stuff). Fold it into place as a liner and
staple it inside the rim to hold it. Trim the excess with scissors. Be
sure to cut a small hole in the liner bottom, over the planter drainage
hole, so it will drain easily. That should serve for a good long time,
and is very easily replaced should you later decide to empty and repot
Galvanized sheet metal will probably rust out even faster than the cedar
would rot, and it is a pure pain to cut and fit, with likely injury now
or later from sharp edges.
There is good reason why, after growing up with an endless stream of
bashed and rusted out galvanized sheet metal pots, pails, watering cans
and tubs, that all of us old-timers cheered long and loudly when the
first good Rubbermaid plastic containers came on the market!!!
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