Easy Ways to Conserve Soil in a Large Planter

Fillers Save Money While Making Pots Lighter

Big glazed terracotta pots look fantastic, but it takes a lot of soil to fill them. Depending on the types of plants that are added, a deep flowerpot is not always necessary. Some varieties are shallow rooted and do not require significant depth. A great portion of the space is essentially wasted. Why waste costly organic mixtures? You can avoid the added expense by using one of these easy ways to conserve soil. They are lightweight fillers and practical options. Best of all, a large planter that would be too heavy to move will be much easier to relocate. You can easily fill in a third or more of the space with a soil alternative while providing plenty of drainage for all types of plants.

Fill the Bottom with Foam Peanuts
Easy Ways to Conserve Soil in a Large PlanterFoam peanuts are good for more than just packing fragile items. They make fantastic fillers for big pots, and they work exceptionally well to conserve valuable soil. Place packing peanuts in the bottom of the pot, and top it with a rich organic mixture. Some of the soil will inevitably end up in the bottom, but the foam pieces will take up a lot of room. The foam will also allow excess water to drain away from roots. On the downside, the peanuts will break down within a few years and will eventually require replacement.

Place an Overturned Plastic Pot in the Planter
If you do not have packing peanuts, consider placing an overturned plastic pot in the bottom of the planter. Top it with soil, and add plants of your choice. The pot will create an empty space in an area that would go unused anyway. Moisture will drain down the sides of the overturned planter, and with proper care, the plants will grow and thrive. However, after two or three years under damp heavy soil, the small flowerpot will also break down and need to be replaced.

Partially Fill the Container with Lava Rock
Lava rock is lightweight compared to other stones. It is typically used for landscaping purposes, and it is also used in some types of gas grills to aide in heat disbursement and retention. It also works exceptionally well to conserve soil in a large planter. Fill one third of the pot with lava rocks before adding the dirt and plants. Excess water will easily drain into the area beneath the rocks. Best of all, the lava rock will not break down. It will continue to save space and provide drainage for years to come. More about container gardening.