Planters, often used synonymous with pots, play a big part in the world of agriculture from home gardening to commercial greenhouse growing.  Whether you have one large terracotta planter sitting outside to accentuate your front stoop or you have a thousand small plastic planters in your greenhouse out back there is something here you probably didn’t know.  Before you start growing, know what planters are best suited to your chosen plant.  This next series of posts will highlight individual styles and materials most commonly used and some that aren’t so common.  Today we discuss :

Plastic

You may have been dissuaded from using plastic in the past due to its relatively dull and cheap appearance but maybe it’s time to take another look at their benefits.  The reason they often look cheap is because most of the time, they are!  Plastic pots can often be found cheap at garden centers and home supply stores and commonly found still in great condition at garage sales.  This makes plastic planters a great alternative for the student gardener.  Plastic pots can also be good for your plant roots and other beneficial organisms as the plastic allows for quick heating and cooling of the plant base instead of permitting overheating.  Plastic pots also typically come with more holes for drainage than other styles and if they don’t have enough, drilling a few holes in the bottom is an easy fix that runs less risk to the pot’s integrity than it does with most clay pots.  They are also lightweight which can be a factor if you’re planning on displaying pots on a weight restricting deck or balcony.  But if it really comes down to the aesthetic of the pot, you can always spray paint them to get the color you desire.  Avoid black pots if possible, they are more inclined towards overheating and are worse for insulation but are alright for shaded areas.

The largest downsides to plastic pots are their environmental impact.  Plastic is a petroleum based product that drains our natural resources and can leak toxic chemicals into your soil and our environment if scratched or damaged.  They also often don’t last more than a few seasons as they become more fragile with time exposed to sunlight which leads to more plastic in our landfills.  A large number of health issues have been found related to the use of some plastics so know what you’re buying if you decide to use plastic.  If you’d like more information or specifics on which plastics to look out for, you can inquire with us through our facebook page.

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