What to put in the bottom of planters/

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  #1  
Old 02-23-06, 03:02 AM
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What to put in the bottom of planters/

Hi,

Is it OK to put pieces of styrofoam in the bottom of planters before adding the soil? The planters are large, maybe four feet around and 30" high. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-23-06, 08:27 AM
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i put in leftover qt containers inverted. takes up space quickly, and no weight issues.
 
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Old 03-04-06, 08:47 AM
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I always use the container mentioned above, with about 1/2" of small pebbles to allow for drainage. I haven't tried styrofoam, but am concerned about mold/fungal issues it may present.....which may damage the plants in the container.
 
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Old 03-04-06, 07:12 PM
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I think it would serve to replace the rocks usually placed in planters to facilitate drainage.
 
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Old 03-11-06, 05:21 PM
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What about the mold/fungal issues with styrofoam? Won't it hurt the plants?
 
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Old 03-12-06, 10:23 AM
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mold/fungal issues with styrofoam
I have not heard of mold or fungus growing on styrofoam under soil.
 
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Old 03-12-06, 06:52 PM
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I filled a huge pot with styrofoam to save on potting soil. We got a huge rain, and it looked like my pot had exploded as the styrofoam floated out of the planter. In short: bad idea.
 
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Old 03-17-06, 09:30 AM
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what to put in bottom of planter

i've succesfully used rocks and broken up pieces of clay pots
 
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Old 03-22-06, 08:25 PM
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A small flat rock or piece of broken pot or crockery placed over drainage hole keeps soil from clogging drainage hole.
 
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Old 03-22-06, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pmurphy
Hi,

Is it OK to put pieces of styrofoam in the bottom of planters before adding the soil? The planters are large, maybe four feet around and 30" high. Thanks.

river rocks are the best for drainage.
 
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Old 03-23-06, 11:05 AM
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I have done a few large brick planters - one of them is about 18" deep. First of all potting soil is not that expensive if you buy it in the largest bags you can find. I spike mine with compost and composted manure. Secondly, I always put in drainage or weep holes as they called when I build the planter. I cement in a small piece of aluminum window screen over the hole (stainless steel is recommended but I can never find it). You could probably use an exterior caulk instead of cement (assuming you have weep holes).

Irregardless of whether you have drainage holes you should pick up some 3/4" drain rock at your local rockery (you can get in bags). Assuming your plants are small enough thet they will never root into the native soil (this is always the case with me), put down some soil seperator (like weed blocker), then a few inches of drain rock then soil seperator again. I try to get the soil seperator to go up the sides of the planter somewhat. Then put in your soil mix.
 
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Old 03-25-06, 06:52 AM
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I have not tried styrofoam myself, but a friend of mine who is an avid gardener has sworn by the 'peanuts' for years. First a 2 or 3 inch layer of gravel or rocks, then halfway w/ the peanuts and the rest with soil. She started doing this about 5 years ago and has not had any issues with fungal or mold die off from the styro.

The ladscaping co. that maintaines my office building also used styro block to fill patio planters that are about 3 feet square. They cut blocks of foam to half fill the planters then added soil--again they said that it is SOP for them w/ large planters and have not had problems with the method.
 
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