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Drain hole in planters... [botanics]


Externet
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Hello.  This is about mostly unattended plants.

Some plants in my yard are grown in containers.  The drain perforation is standard at the bottom. Never seen other.  Well, usually flawed. Plants get thirsty or die if rain is not periodic enough.    Some planters with the drain hole covered or no drain hole can drown if rains too often.  Usually flawed.

What is your opinion in having about half way on the side of the planter container, the drain hole ?   Will not drown; will be harder to become dry as would hold very moist or wet soil at bottom. for a much longer time.   Have not tried yet but soon to experiment... after your comments.

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It’d be more of an overflow valve than a drain hole. Unless it’s below the roots, I can’t see how it would help much. And if it’s below the roots, then the roots aren’t getting the water they need anyway. 

This is just a guess. I don’t know the answer. Take this with a grain of salt. 

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1 hour ago, Externet said:

The drain perforation is standard at the bottom.

The reason for that: Roots reach down to the bottom and thy all need water; the idea is for it to trickle down through the pot, carrying nutrients to every root. 

1 hour ago, Externet said:

Plants get thirsty or die if rain is not periodic enough. 

You can - indeed, you're expected to, if you own plants - water them as required.

Holes in planters can be on the side around the base - just above the thickness of the bottom of the pot. If holes are half-way up, the water washes nutrient out of the soil, away from the plant roots and not reaching the lower ones, and the soil dries out faster.

The simplest solution is to raise the planters. Put them on some kind of pedestal, a stand, a rack, or just a couple of bricks with a space between them.

If the problem is that the holes in the bottom clog up with earth, you haven't put in draining material: stones or shards from broken pots keep the holes open; you could get specially made inserts (raised disc with slots cut in). Even chunks of styrofoam will do, if you want to keep the weight down. 

 

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Just transplanted my lemon tree.
It was starting to choke itself with root growth, which I trimmed back.
I used a cut down yellow oversize 'recovery' drum, which is much larger than the original cut down 45 gal plastic drum it was previously in.
I didn't have any gravel handy for a base, so I put the drain holes just above the bottom thickness, along the side.
This tree comes inside in late October and goes back outside in April to avoid frost/cold damage.
The low side holes seem to keep the soil well drained, but it is difficult to move in and out of the house, asthe damn thing now weighs a ton.

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8 minutes ago, MigL said:

This tree comes inside in late October and goes back outside in April to avoid frost/cold damage.

We just took our lemon tree inside for winter last week when the temps went to freezing. It too is a heavy beast. Casters are amazing inventions 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/3/2021 at 10:42 PM, Externet said:

Some plants in my yard are grown in containers.  The drain perforation is standard at the bottom. Never seen other.  Well, usually flawed. Plants get thirsty or die if rain is not periodic enough.    Some planters with the drain hole covered or no drain hole can drown if rains too often.  Usually flawed.

Many of the flowerpots I see here in stores look just like this:

2D profile:

542129853_Flowerpot1.jpg.50051aa13032b6ce104f51db6b9e94fe.jpg

3D visualization:

1138561709_Flowerpot2.thumb.jpg.ad14bcba2553c99c5efcc46597f97c2c.jpg

If you want to have some water in the bottom of the container, simply drill a hole on the side...

On 11/3/2021 at 10:42 PM, Externet said:

What is your opinion in having about half way on the side of the planter container, the drain hole ? 

In the literal half way, IMHO it is way too extreme.

On 11/3/2021 at 10:42 PM, Externet said:

Will not drown; will be harder to become dry as would hold very moist or wet soil at bottom. for a much longer time.   Have not tried yet but soon to experiment... after your comments.

What is the average amount of rainfall in your country region?

What are the dimensions of your container?

How much water do you want (in liters)?

The area of the container x the average amount of rainfall will give us the volume of water.

Do the roots of your plants like plenty of water? If not, they will begin to rot.

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I think Externet is onto something here. And I also think that Sensei's idea is not bad. The only problem with Sensei's design is that it may not be the simplest way to achieve the principle involved because of the extra modification of moulding during manufacture.

I joined a local group this year that recycles kitchen waste into compost for a community garden. We have 'wicking beds' which are lined on the bottom with industrial grade plastic sheeting to hold a water reservoir. The drain is an outlet on any side about 6 inches up from the bottom. Some plastic framework is laid on this to hold a blanket type material on which the soil is dumped. The growth of plants is prolific and the advantage is that you need only top up the water reservoir at the bottom every week or two.

Some members use rectangular polystyrene foam containers about 18 inches long by 10 inches high and wide. They poke holes in all sides about 2 inches from the bottom , maybe put some blanket-type material in the bottom, fill with soil and plant. They work.

Now I can see the merit in Externet's idea of having holes in the side of plant pots because the pot retains more water for longer. Maybe the holes in the side need to be only an inch or two from the bottom. Great idea!

Only snag may be that some plants do not like wet feet. That would have to be discovered by trial and error (if not already discovered by others). 

The water ascends to seedlings by capillary action in combination with surface tension.

It would be a great water saver, and watering saver, in my opinion. 

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