Planting in big container Q

ditnc(7 NC)June 25, 2011

Hi all. I bought 2 gorgeous containers for my deck. One of them is really big (and heavy!)and I would prefer to not spend the money on potting soil to fill it up completely. I am just going to put some perennials and annuals in it, so the plants won't need the container's entire depth for their roots.

Can anyone offer tips about what I might put into the bottom of the container below the potting soil to fill up space? I was thinking about pine bark mulch, but then thought it might end up being a slug haven at the bottom. I would prefer something kind of lightweight (but sturdy)so if necessary, I could scoot the container across the deck as needed (I might put those furniture movers under in anyway since it's so heavy even without being full). But whatever goes in the bottom would have to withstand the weight of growing mix.

Any tips are appreciated. And I would love to hear also what you put under this type of container (concrete?) to help protect the deck surface from water damage.

Here's a pic of the containers...I cannot WAIT to plant them!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I would fill a milk jug (with a screw-on cap) or empty soda bottles with water & use them as ballast if you don't think you'll need the soil volume. That, or turn a clay or plastic pot bottom up and set it on the main pot's bottom. Cover the drain hole (in the over-turned pot) and fill around and above the filler pot with soil.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 10:00PM
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To be honest, those containers aren't that big, but I guess that's because I have plenty that are bigger, for growing veggies. I'll tell you this though, should you use the 5-1-1 mix, it won't cost you much to fill the whole thing. Otherwise, Al has some good ideas. As for what to put underneath, either buy one of those plastic trays, available pretty much anywhere, or use some egg crate material. Even a couple of pieces of pressure treated 2x2's cut to size, will get that pot up off of your deck, so air can dry out the drainage water.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 10:51PM
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packing foam peanuts.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 10:36AM
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ditnc(7 NC)

"I'll tell you this though, should you use the 5-1-1 mix, it won't cost you much to fill the whole thing"

I'm not familiar with 5-1-1 mix?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 12:23PM
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It's a custom made mix of pine bark fines, perlite, & peat moss. Rather than going in depth, just use the search box on gardenweb, and type in "5-1-1 mix". You'll get tons of info on it. I use it, and this year, for my veggies in containers, it costed me a total of just under $20. For pots, I have 2 huge 24" pots, 2 planter boxes that are 3' long, 1' wide, and 1' deep, and I also have many smaller pots that I filled up for annuals, and a few houseplants.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 3:07PM
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mea2214(z5 Chicago)

Don't use foam pellets or anything that you have to pick out when you dispose of the potting mix in some year in the future.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 2:25AM
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