Black plastic pots, foam meat trays and takeout boxes just belong in the trash, not in your blueprints. Find creative ways to recycle black plastic planters, composters, or use them as containers for your next organic gardening project. Every other color planter or pot is okay in the vegetable garden, but they still have to be clean, have an earthy number 1, and/or 5 on the bottom in a neatly labeled pattern. This allows you to easily find the exact pot you need in the garden plot with less digging.
You can recycle black plastic planters to make other items too. They make great trays for birdhouses, flowerbeds, BBQ grills, hot tubs, poolsides or patios, pool decks, hot tub surrounds, etc. And the bottom should be sturdy enough to support whatever you are planning to put in them. If it is, you might want to consider using a recycled blue pot, but it works equally well.
Use black plastic planters to plant potted plants in, outside your home. Use those that are labeled “green” and go with your decor. Use them to plant flowers in your yard, along sidewalks, driveways, etc. If you have potted plants already in the container, re-pot them as needed, watering them only when necessary.
Pots that sit directly on the ground cannot be properly cared for if the roots are being forced into a compacted planting area. The roots of potted plants should be kept shallow, just slightly deeper than the top of the container. In order to keep them that way, they should be packed about half full of the good potting soil with a light layer of gravel. A wire mesh top, filled with the good potting soil, is a perfect place to put the container once the dirt is filled around the edges. Don’t forget the bottom of the container. Just scoop some of the soil out of the top to make sure it is all covered.
Once the container is planted, you will need to water the potted garden carefully, especially in the beginning. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Also, watch for ants. Some types of ants, especially those that like the dark, are especially bad for newly planted garden plants. Get rid of them as soon as you see them.
Another gardening mistake is watering the plants too often. Just fill the pots with enough water so that when you repot the plants, you can simply remove the existing pot and place it into the container for repotting. This will keep your plants healthy.
Another problem often encountered with first time gardeners is using the wrong potting soil. If the potting soil is too dry, your plants may not develop properly. On the other hand, if the soil is too wet, your plants will develop leaves and roots that are very close together and may block water from reaching the other parts of the plant. What you want is a balance of soil that is moist but not soggy. This is why it’s important to always keep a good supply of potting soil handy.
The final mistake to avoid with black plastic planters is placing the container on uneven surfaces. It is not only unappealing but can cause the roots to develop an irregular shape. As a result, the plants will not have access to all of the nutrients they need to grow. This causes the plants to become sickly and unhealthy. You want your plants to be healthy, but you don’t want them to look like they’re standing in a sand pit!