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Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

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Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  bvarbel on 3/22/2013, 12:30 pm

I was just at home depot gathering things to plant. I noticed that all my little plants came planted in pots made out of that brown biodegradable stuff. I planted the whole pot, but now I'm wondering if I should have planted the ball of roots and soil into the Mel's mix directly.
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Re: Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  bnoles on 3/22/2013, 12:33 pm

Just my preference, but I have never been fond of them. I usually remove the pot (carefully) and plant without it.

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Re: Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/22/2013, 12:41 pm

@bnoles wrote:Just my preference, but I have never been fond of them. I usually remove the pot (carefully) and plant without it.

Me, too. I had a Brandywine tomato in one last year. All summer I couldn't figure out why is wasn't growing. I finally dug it up to see what was what and the dang pot was still on it, whole and tiny. I also have this issue with homemade tp roll and newspaper pots.

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Re: Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/22/2013, 12:52 pm

I've never had any kind of luck with those biodegradable containers!

The plants don't grow and eventually die.

My suggestion is to gently remove the plants, then check to see if they're rootbound. If so, there are several remedies I've tried:

1. Soak that rootball thoroughly, then GENTLY see if you can pry some of the roots apart.

2. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut several vertical slits in the rootball, then plant.

3. And then there's Mel's method, probably the easiest, which is to simply cut off the bottom third of the rootball.
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Re: Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  bvarbel on 3/22/2013, 1:01 pm

I just planted yesterday. Should I dig everything up and replant them?
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Re: Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2013, 1:08 pm

I would dig them up, remove them from the pots and replant right into the mix.

I think the benefit of the biodegradable pots is not that you can set them in the ground with your plants, but instead there is no plastic pot left over after you set your plant in the garden.

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Re: Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  cheyannarach on 3/22/2013, 1:20 pm

I planted quite a few plants in the pots last year and my plants grew just fine but this spring I went out an pulled a bunch of dead plants cleaning up the beds the pots were still there, after being in the ground for almost a year the roots just grew right threw the cups but this year I will try removing most of them before I plant. With sensitive plants like squash I cut the bottom out and made a few slits up the sides before I planted them.
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Re: Is it ok to plant those biodegradable plant pots?

Post  Pollinator on 3/22/2013, 8:01 pm

@bvarbel wrote:I was just at home depot gathering things to plant. I noticed that all my little plants came planted in pots made out of that brown biodegradable stuff. I planted the whole pot, but now I'm wondering if I should have planted the ball of roots and soil into the Mel's mix directly.

They don't break down as well as you would expect. However, the plant roots can grow through them, IF they are moist. The trouble is that they wick moisture to the surface of the soil. So, if you use them, be sure the top of the pot is entirely covered by soil, so it cannot have that wicking effect. Personally - I don't use them. I grow several thousand starter plants, and I much prefer plug trays.
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