Gardening With ‘Cracked’ Pots

pot Source Using crocks to help containers drain?
No Not That Kind Of Pot
For 50 years years I have followed the lessons learned from my parents, grand parents and great grand mother about container gardening.

Now along comes Soil scientists, hydrologists and environmental engineers telling me I have been doing it wrong for all these years.

If you really want to know the technical reason(s) why we should not fill the bottom of your potted plant containers with cracked pots, click on the source link Using crocks to help containers drain? Other wise continue reading here for a shorter explanation.

In short, putting cracked pots, stones, sand or gravel in the bottom of your containers can cause increased water retention in the bottom of containers and actually impede water drainage.

Don’t get the Idea, that you don’t still need good drainage holes in the bottom of your containers. Without drainage holes your container will soon be more suited for a bog garden. You just need not fill the bottom of your containers with what I formerly called … grin … good drainage materials. Fill your container from bottom to top with quality potting mix soil, plant/transplant your container and watch your treasured tomato’s/peppers grow.

I have also learned that I need to dig down at least 2 inches in my containers to check to see if the soil is dry and my plants need watering. Two inches and deeper are where most of your plants root system is growing and feeding.
Caution new seedlings and recently germinated seeds are growing and feeding much shallower in your pot soil.

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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3 responses to “Gardening With ‘Cracked’ Pots

  1. They may be right about the water retention but with the shortage of water, that may be what is needed to reduce water usage.

    My grandparents used broken dinner plates as well as the pots.


  2. For porper drainage in my bucket jungle, I get the drill, and all but perforate those buckets and planters. I drill a few small holes on the side of the bucket, too, at the bottom. My five-gallon buckets don’t need any more than that, and a really good planting mix. I mix that up like a big cake mix of potting soil with 25% compost, 10% sheep dip. I have a couple of larger containers, ten gallon and larger, which benefit from just a handful of pea gravel stirred into the mix in the top half of the container. And, yes, do dig a bit to check water. Use a finger and drill right down into the surface in a couple of spots.


  3. My grandparents often used the phrase: Jack of all Trades, Master at None. Which means they knew a little bit about a lot of things, and most of those things were survival skills or fix it skills. I deeply regret not having listened to them more closely….from south Alabama.


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