Container Culture [was Perched Water Table]

Peter Taggart
Wed, 04 Dec 2013 13:55:11 PST
and another way to abate the problem is to bed the pots (not crocked) on
sand, earth or capillary matting.

On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 6:29 PM, Hannon <> wrote:

> Great discussion. Peter's comment made me realize immediately one of the
> main problems with growing in pots, namely that there is no capillary
> action to speak of at all. A plant's roots will respond to the
> downward/outward hydrostatic principle but in pots this stops at the
> drainage holes, where there is drying instead of an "expected" refuge for
> moisture-seeking roots. The wicking effect only lasts a very short time
> after watering.
> Instead of root-encouraging water movement, in containers there is a drying
> effect from above and below and at the sides and the last region to dry out
> is toward the center of the rootball-- where feeder root development is
> poorest. This staleness or lack of proper water movement must account, in
> part, for the relatively poor performance of many species in pots that
> thrive when planted in the ground.
> One way to abate this problem is to keep plants more pot-bound than usual.
> This necessitates more frequent watering and keeps the cycle of air and
> water movement more brisk.

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