Saturday, August 10, 2013

3758 Flower Pots

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The victor will always judge the defeated, and always find him guilty.
--Goering, during the Nuremberg Trials--


Flower pots drive me crazy.  They all have holes in the bottom.  Yeah, ok, I understand you need holes so excess water drains out and the pot doesn't get all swampy and rot the roots and drown the plants.  But why do the holes have to be in the bottom?  That makes no sense to me.

When a soil is dry(ish), like in pots on the porch or in strong sun, or especially in hanging pots, when you water the plants the soil doesn't absorb the water quickly, and it tends to run straight through and out the bottom.  It takes a lot of water over a long time for the soil to gradually start absorbing water.  It's very frustrating. 

The only solution is to use trays under the pots.  Trays catch the runoff, act as a reservoir, and then the soil gradually soaks it up.  Happy plant.  That works for standard plants, but not for hanging pots or the decorative pedestal planters.  Hanging pots come with a tiny, completely useless, attached saucer (I don't know why they bother) and it's next to impossible to arrange a tray reservoir.  You can go crazy trying to keep those things moist.  At the country house I had some huge pedestal planters outside, and when I planted them, I buried some big plastic bowls deep in the bottom for reservoirs. 

The improvement is so simple:  Don't put the holes in the bottom!  Put the drain holes in the side, height depending on the size of the pot.  That creates a reservoir in the bottom, allowing water to be absorbed as needed.  In nature, that reservoir is called ground water, or the water table.  You don't even have to put stones down there because roots won't grow into that reservoir unless the plant likes it, and stones restrict the ability of the water to move into upper regions by capillary action. The soil above the reservoir will not be too wet, since excess water will still go out the hole.

I don't understand why someone hasn't already thought of that.

Any entrepreneurs out there are welcome to use this idea and make a bazillion dollars.  I'll even help.  Just let me know you're doing it and mention my name somewhere....

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