When choosing containers of various types and sizes, think about drainage and porosity. Plants can also suffer if containers drain too quickly. Several popular containers, such as unglazed terra cotta and wood, dry out faster than materials like plastic and plants in such containers must be watered more frequently. Even though these types of containers drain quickly, they are beneficial because they prevent plants from becoming waterlogged.
When using wood, try to avoid using containers made of pressure-treated wood. Such woods have been dipped or painted with chemicals that can be toxic to both plants and people, especially if you’re using such a container to grow herbs or vegetables. When constructing your own wooden boxes, use rot resistant wood, such as cedar, or treat your container with an exterior grade paint or stain to protect it from rotting.
When figuring out where to place your pots, also keep in mind that drainage will be reduced when a container is set on a solid surface, such as a cement or patio floor. However, by raising the container one or two inches off the floor, you can avoid this drainage problem. Gardeners commonly use bricks, cement blocks or decorative blocks of wood to deal with this. In addition, many gardeners place pots of various sizes on small wooden dollies on rollers, not only for ease in moving around, but also because doing so allows adequate drainage from underneath, no matter where they’re placed.
Drainage and porosity should always be considered when choosing containers. Several popular containers, such as unglazed terra cotta and wood, dry out faster than materials like plastic and plants in such containers must be watered more frequently. It doesn’t matter what you decide to grow. Your planting container should allow adequate drainage, though at the same time allowing sufficient water retention to keep roots moist.
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