Another note on pots

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 02 Nov 2004 07:30:04 PST
Dear All,

This thread on white versus black pots I find interesting. A number of 
years ago I bought white pots and then someone wrote they were worse than 
black. I had noticed like Paul that there was green on the inside of the 
pots of some of them when I repot, but those pots were also ones that had 
tiny drainage holes which were difficult to enlarge. One year I order a 
large quantity of Dec-Grow granite pots from McConkey Co. They usually sell 
to nurserymen at wholesale, but were willing to sell to me since I was 
willing to buy them in quantity. The price was right compared to what I 
could get elsewhere even though shipping was high.

When they arrived I was dismayed since they seemed so light weight and I 
wasn't sure how long they would last. As I pondered what to do I came on 
the idea of nesting them. I thought that using two for each planting would 
make them last longer, but I suspect that it also provides insulation. 
Using two was still more reasonable than the cost of one of some others. 
Things have grown very well this way and in addition they seem to be 
lasting better than some of the heavier more expensive plastic pots. They 
certainly aren't hot to the touch like some black plastic square one I have 
(some heavy duty ones that are also lasting, but I have to stuff the four 
sides with mesh or else the soil comes out). And they rarely are green on 
the inside either. It would be interesting to place a black one, the white 
ones, green ones, and terracotta colored ones in a spot getting the same 
sun and test the soil temperature of each.

While I am on this I throw out another related thread and that is what 
people do for the bottom of their pots. We've talked about mesh from 
grocery store vegetable bags, heavier duty wire mesh, weed cloth, etc. As 
I've mentioned the soil comes out in some pots without it and it also seems 
to prevent the sow bugs from getting in. But Amaryllid roots get caught in 
some of these things. Some of the members of our group are still adding 
gravel to the bottom of their pots for "drainage", but others say that just 
means there is less room for the roots.

I've been making side slits in many of my pots at Alberto's suggestion so 
that water is not trapped at the bottom. It's easy (compared to other pots) 
to do that with those Dec-Grow containers with regular scissors. They come 
in granite (whitish) and terracotta colors ranging in size from 6 × 5 ¼ 
inches to 12 × 10 ¼. As people have time I'd be interested in responses.


Mary Sue

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