Drainage is especially important when it comes to container gardening. Excess water around their roots can deprive plants of oxygen, eventually drowning them. Similarly, a moist oxygen-deprived environment is the ideal breeding ground for root-killing molds. Make sure your growing medium drains well (see Growing Medium) and that your containers have ample drainage holes. One of the handy features of specialized containers is that they have threaded drainage ports which can be opened or closed as needed. This allows you to close the drainage port when you bring your container garden indoors and vice versa. You can also use the ports with automatic watering systems or to control where water drains.
There is a lot of debate in the gardening world about the use of a drainage layer made of stones or pebbles at the bottom of container gardens. In my opinion, this is unnecessary and deprives plants of much needed growing space. This layer may also retain moisture, causing more problems than anything. Using a properly formulated container gardening growing medium is a much better option.
If you’re gardening on a deck or patio, be mindful of where containers are draining. Excess moisture underneath your planter can damage wooden decks and runoff can stain various surfaces. Elevate your container gardens to provide airflow and eliminate moisture issues. There are plenty of elevated and mobile container gardening solutions out there and they’re well worth the investment. You can also make your own stand if you’re DIY inclined.
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