Good soil is crucial to successful container gardening. The roots of plants need air just as much as they need water. Very few plants can thrive in soaking wet soil, with the exception of water lilies and other aquatics. Good old ordinary soil just won’t work in a container garden, in most cases it’s too heavy, dense, compacts and doesn’t drain well. Potting soils are designed to drain quickly and at the same time hold enough water to supply the plants. Invest in a good potting soil one with a good balance of organic and inorganic components.
When it comes to very large containers you have three options;
- Fill the container completely with potting soil and (this is crucial) raise the pot up off the ground using pot feet or bricks to ensure good drainage.
- Fill the bottom 1/2 to 2/3 with some type of filler; it could be empty soda bottles or even ping pong balls.
- Pot in Pot Technique: plant up a separate container that can be lowered into the big pot (it may be necessary to add a cinder block or bricks to raise the inner pot to the proper height). Here we show the decorative pot, the inner pot and then the inner pot set into the decorative pot. See our ladies below demonstrating the pot in pot technique.