as Testing Moisture In Containers, Now Weight Reduction In Huge Pots

Mark Mazer
Tue, 03 Dec 2013 11:59:13 PST
Capillary theory teaches that this simply leads to a "perched" water table
in the container.  The USGA has done extensive research on the physics of
this on putting greens.

"The layering of a finer textured and single grained soil material over a
coarser textured
media results in the formation of a zone of saturated soil above the
interface. This is
shown in the figure below. A necessary condition for this occurrence is a
interface between these two porous media as would occur in a USGA green
adhering to
the bridging criteria for the gravel. As we shall see later, this zone of
saturated soil is not
a true water table since it lacks a free-water surface (i.e. a depth within
the profile where
soil water suction equals zero). The soil is saturated nonetheless, because
the soil water
suctions that exist in this zone do not exceed the air-entry value for the
root zone. "

It's time to put this practice to bed.

Mark Mazer
Hertford, North Carolina USDA 8a

On Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 1:10 PM, Judy Glattstein <> wrote:

> Ina, when I used to teach container gardening classes we'd often be
> discussing those large wooden half whiskey barrel containers. My
> suggestion was to use aluminum soda containers, opening side down. One
> or even two layers, with second layer - if any - offset from the lower
> layer. Then cover the cans with water permeable non-woven landscape
> fabric. Cut somewhat oversize, so that the fabric can be brought up
> against the side of the container for a few inches.
> Judy in sunny New Jersey where we've gone from night temperatures in the
> teens Fahrenheit into another heat wave. High 50s Fahrenheit predicted
> for today and the next two. Very peculiar weather this year.
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