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Use Less Soil in Your Planting Containers

Use Less Soil in Your Planting Containers

Use Less Soil in Your Planting Containers

Use these tips to use less soil in your planting containers. We all have those x-large outdoor pots that need to be filled with soil for holding beautiful flower arrangements, herbs and produce.  Over the years I have used several items to serve this purpose.  Some were excellent choices and some, poor choices.


Biodegradable Choices

If you are looking for ideas to line the bottom of your containers that will break down over time and can be added to a compost pile at the end of the season, chose one of the six biodegradable options below.

  • Pine cones
  • Wood chips
  • Old logs
  • Twigs
  • Leaves
  • Newspaper

 Biodegradable Choices to line the bottom of your planting containers that will break down over time and can be added to a compost pile at the end of the season.

All of the choices except for the newspaper I would suggest for both vegetable and flower plantings. I prefer not to use the colored newspaper inserts for anything that contains food.


Non- Biodegradable Choices

  • Upside down empty plant containers
  • Milk Jugs
  • Empty plastic soda bottles
  • Aluminum cans
  • Packing peanuts (was the worst choice)
  • Rocks

If you are looking for ideas to line the bottom of your containers that will not break down over time, chose one of the six non-biodegradable options below.

Special Notes:

  • Most packing peanuts are made from petroleum oils so I don’t suggest that you use them in any container that has food items.
  • There are some packing peanuts that breakdown if you run them under water.  Test yours to see if they do.
  • Place an old screen in the bottom of pot first before adding a filler to keep the dirt from going right out of the holes.

By using the tips above you can save yourself some money and use less soil in your planting containers and also some back-breaking labor when moving around your potted plants. 

Happy gardening to you!


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