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Planting in big container Q

Posted by ditnc 7 NC (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 25, 11 at 16:03

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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RE: Planting in big container Q

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 25, 11 at 22:00

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.


RE: Planting in big container Q

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.


RE: Planting in big container Q

packing foam peanuts.

RE: Planting in big container Q

"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?

RE: Planting in big container Q

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.


RE: Planting in big container Q

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.

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