mulching in pots

aseedisapromiseAugust 10, 2012

Last fall I moved, and I received some replacement iris rhizomes from a company for some that were mislabeled, that I wanted to take with me. So I put them in pots. But I really had a hard time keeping the mix in the pots wet enough to induce the rhizomes to start to grow into it. So what I did was I put a board over the pots, with the fan of leaves sticking up above it. This worked really well, and I took notice that mulching in a pot might be just as good as mulching things grown in the ground. Has anyone else tried this? I put bark mulch about an inch deep over the mix in my pots of geraniums and other annuals this year, and I thought so far it works great. Has anyone experienced a problem with doing this? Are some things better to use than others?

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calistoga_al

For those pots growing a plant with a single stem, I mulch with fir bark pieces of about 3/8 inch, which helps prevent weeds and moisture loss. For plants sending up multiple stems from the roots, I do not use mulch. Al

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:49AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I also mulch with a little ground pine bark in my container blueberries. The sun pounds them all day long and it helps a little to keep the moisture in, and the soil surface stays a little cooler IMO.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:38AM
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rina_

I mulch pots too, mostly using a pea gravel...my original reason was to stop or at least slow down squirrels and a (lonly-so far) chipmunk from digging.
It works quite well, and helps to retain some moisture too.

Rina

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:14AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Add me to the list of those who mulch with Bark.
I never mulch deeper than 1 inch, though, and I pull back the mulch during the Winter.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 1:12PM
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aseedisapromise

Thanks everyone for your responses. I didn't think I was so smart that I thought up a new thing, but I wondered if there was some problem that I didn't think of. Since just about nothing would survive winter in a pot around here, pulling the mulch back for winter wouldn't apply to me, but maybe it is a good point for others with year-round pots. I have heard of people putting coarse rock on the top of soil in pots of house plants to keep cats out of them. Also there's the people doing it for esthetic reasons. I also wonder if it would make a difference in, say, pots of annuals that are planted thickly so the foliage eventually covers all the soil.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 2:08PM
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capoman(5a)

I find with a bark based mix (5-1-1), I don't need to mulch, since the soil mix itself is very mulch like. That being said, if people have issues with excessive heat and evaporation, using a non-porous mulch such as white stones would be appropriate.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:12AM
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