I’ve gone bottomless before but this year I’m adding more bottomless pots. These are like mini raised gardens which allow me to fill the pot with good soil but gives the plants the opportunity to put the roots down as far as they want. And I didn’t have to dig the hard, compacted soil.
It seems going bottomless is all the rage this year, certainly according to the number of visits I’ve had on my previous post about bottomless pots. I started using plastic bottomless pots about 6 years ago and just love how they let me use a spot in the garden that was undiggable due to rocks or soil compression.
The area I’m working on this year is called Herb’s Place, an area I started last year for some herbs and a few other plants. Most of the ground is compacted down as this area was under a set of stairs from the deck for 30 odd years. The stairs got moved last year so I saw the potential for a new garden.
Last year I had moved some Egyptian Walking Onions into a fair sized bottomless pot (above photo) and look how they flourished and grew this spring. Unfortunately it was necessary to move them while I reorganized this garden area.
Look how the roots had grown down and out the bottom of the pot. The ground was very dry and I was able to carefully loosen the roots from the soil and get the pot out and moved to a new location. You just have to remember to drag the bottomless pot once loosened else the plant will fall right out of the pot.
A few years ago I planted some clematis in the trellis garden and did not use the bottomless pot idea. But I wish I had as now the soil is washing away from the plant and exposing the root ball. So I devised a way to use a plastic bottomless pot by cutting in so that I could fit it around the clematis, staple together, and fill with dirt. I’ll be monitoring this closely to see if it works.
So for I’ve planted up garlic chives, chives, Jerusalem artichokes into bottomless pots. Into big containers from my plant tables I’ve added oregano, thyme, sage and mint. I had planned to move some of the Russian sage into this area, but when we started to dig it we realized it had a huge long tap root and it was really hard to get out. Seeing as it grew so big it wouldn’t be a good plant for a bottomless pot.
Advantage of bottomless pots:
- lets you plant in an area that is undiggable
- gives seeds and plants a chance to get established in good soil
- makes use of those black plastic pots that we can’t recycle anymore
Disadvantage of bottomless pots:
- not able to move the pots around like in a regular pot
- not always big enough
This is the progress on Herb’s Place right now, bigger containers, more bottomless pots and a new path. Herb did make an appearance with his mailbox which will hold the gardening tools for this area.
I know this isn’t just another of my crazy ideas as you can find all sorts of places on the internet that have tried them and some places even sell ready made ones.
Have you tried going bottomless?