Gardening novice question

(10 Posts)
Applesauce29 Thu 18-Jun-15 21:42:18

Do I really need grit in the bottom of new plant pots or would soil and the stuff you mix through be ok? They only did massive 25kg bags at the garden centre which are too heavy for me to move. Would some stones / gravel suffice?

Haven't really done any gardening other than plant and see variety, most things usually die (either to harsh weather or my lake of care or both)...

LillianGish Thu 18-Jun-15 21:46:10

You can use anything. I usually use a bit of broken plant pot. You don't need loads just a crock over the hole to stop all the compost coming out when you water. Certainly wouldn't buy anything specifically.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 18-Jun-15 21:46:40

Its to allow a bit of drainage so broken pot, stones, gravel are fine.

Methe Thu 18-Jun-15 21:49:19

Broken polystyrene is good.. Bitsof old packaging/padding etc. Improves the drainage without increasing the weight. Also reduces cost of compost.

Applesauce29 Thu 18-Jun-15 22:06:29

Thanks. Can't wait to plant up tomorrow smile Had DH show me how to drill holes in the pots this eve - getting ridiculously excited about my patio now!

shovetheholly Fri 19-Jun-15 07:53:11

Applesauce - ooooh, how exciting! You're doing it all really properly too. Sometimes I don't bother with the drainage blush which is very naughty.

As methe says, polystyrene does work well - but you need to exercise a bit of common sense with it, which I did not when I started. grin If you put loads of really light stuff, and not much soil in one of the smaller plastic pot, it will tend to be knocked over by the wind. Obviously, with larger pots and more soil, this isn't an issue.

RoganJosh Fri 19-Jun-15 18:56:07

I don't bother with boys of broken pots after reading it isn't necessary. I don't use anything and everything seems happy. This article suggests a bit of sand is good though.
www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27126160

PolterGoose Fri 19-Jun-15 18:58:05

I've given up with crocks too, I now just put a sheet of newspaper in the bottom to stop the compost coming out until the roots spread.

PurpleWithRed Fri 19-Jun-15 19:01:49

Which? magazine or something recently did a trial that showed there is no need for anything in the bottom of the pot for drainage, it makes no difference at all.

Qwebec Tue 23-Jun-15 15:56:55

Here professional gardeners say that since the fifies it's been proven you only need soil adding, extra suff changes nothing at best and at worst limits the space the roots have to grow. I regularly transplant for clients and from time to time I find a plant that lost half it's roots at the bottom of the pot because the roots rot or dry out because of the cange in soil structure.

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