Another note on pots

Gilbert Nancy L Contr 9 CES/CEC
Tue, 02 Nov 2004 08:35:51 PST
To All,
We have verified that black pots do indeed create quite hot internal
temperatures, but have also found that white containers are hard to find and
generally tend to deteriorate more quickly. After much trial and error, we
have settled on Anderson Company's 'deep flats'; Anderson is located in
Portland, Oregon. These containers are black, extra heavy duty and are
almost indestructable, being used not only in horticulture, but also to grow
oysters under seawater. They are also reasonably priced if you order in
bulk, as we do. I believe the dimensions are  15" x 15" x 6" deep. The
bottom is a heavy duty plastic mesh grid of about 1/2" squares. We line the
bottom of each container with weed fabric, which keeps bulbs inside the flat
and allows for very good drainage through the perforated flat bottom. We
then cover each Anderson deep flat with an inverted standard 17" x 17" flat
(ones with large grid patterns)such as supplied by McConkey, and we have a
protective cover (we have tree squirrels) for our bulbs that neatly fits
right over the outer edges of the Anderson flat. We grow under oak and pine
trees so we do have to brush off leaves and pine needles, but growing under
the trees provides dappled shade and helps with summer heat problems. Once
the leaves have died back on the bulbs, we cover any containers that are
getting too hot with shade fabric. Since we are growing faily large numbers
of bulbs, this has been the most practical and successful method for us thus
-Nancy Gilbert
Grass Valley, California 

-----Original Message-----
From: Mary Sue Ittner [] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 7:30 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Another note on pots

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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