Fertiliser pots are an ingenious way of beginning to grow tender root plants indoors in early spring. Planting carrots, daisies and other tender perennial plants in large containers would not be possible without the usage of pots. They give an opportunity to you to see the progress of your seedlings through time. Pot gardening is one of the simplest ways of gardening and also a great hobby. Container gardening can also be an enjoyable way to grow your favorite vegetables as well as herbs.
There are two major varieties of potting material: clay and plastic. Both have their benefits and pitfalls, but for container vegetable plants there is no better medium to grow plants in than clay. Plastic pots allow moisture to evaporate quickly from the soil and the evaporation of water and air helps to keep the plants cool. But there are downsides too. Plastic pots can easily absorb the odors of the container they are in, and plastic is more likely to break or warp when the soil is wet.
A lot of greenhouse gardeners favour clay or terracotta fibre pots as these help the plants to develop their roots naturally, without any soil compaction or loss of nutrients. With some container gardening you can use perlite or gypsum to help the roots develop deep in the soil. But both kinds of porous media require water or liquid to aid their proper growth. Many greenhouse vegetable gardeners also find that the fine quality mulches available commercially add extra support to the plants, without adding extra labour to the process.
So what’s the answer then to the question ‘Should I use a clay or plastic plant pot?’ In my opinion there is no answer! Each type of container gardening system will suit different climates and environments to a varying degree. I know of few gardeners who would prefer clay pots over plastic ones, simply because they feel that the texture and tightness of clay are natural for the roots to develop in. If you live in an area where the soil is particularly hard and clay like, then it might work for you. But if you are growing plants that like to take up a lot of water and have a tendency to root in the soil, then plastic may be the best choice.
Root disturbance is one of the biggest problems faced by most gardeners, especially those who grow seedlings and young plants which are still very small. Trying to transplant seedlings without them knowing about it is a recipe for disaster. If your seedlings are not prepared before you bring them into the garden, the chances are that they will root up and die if they are not moved on a regular basis. And I am not talking about moving them into the garden, but transferring them from the pot into a bigger container which has had plenty of time to settle.
Soil type and amount will also affect the results of your transplanting efforts. If you are planning to use a pot made of clay, then transplanting is not going to be too much of a problem for you. But if your garden has clay tiled walls, then you should consider using the peat pots which allow for a larger root system to spread around and help in transplanting. Soil type is completely dependent on your local garden conditions, so be sure to consult a garden expert before choosing one.
One important consideration is whether your plant will still grow root crops when the container has finished bearing fruit. Some plants do extremely well when their roots are dug up and spread out, while others need to have their roots sown in order to be able to survive. But if you plant these types of seedlings into a pot that is left in the ground for a long period of time, they are likely to grow very well after you have finished transplanting. On the other hand, most of your plants are unlikely to be able to survive the long period of time that a container garden requires.
The only downside to using clay pots in your container gardening is the risk of termites. When it comes to this type of gardening, there is no safe ground to dig holes in, and you do not want to invite termites into your home. If you have decided on using clay pots as your gardening tool, then you will need to keep a close eye on the quality of your pot. It is highly advisable to buy a good quality pot from reputed brands. You can easily find pottery suppliers and dealers online, as well as at your local garden centre. Once you have finally made up your mind about the type of pot you would like to use, then you can go ahead and start your container gardening.