How do you grow plants in the garden where the soil is so compacted or rocky that it is hard to grow anything there?
I tried using bottomless pots like mini raised gardens which allowed me to fill the pot with good soil but gives the plants the opportunity to put the roots down as far as they want. And I didn’t have to dig the hard, compacted soil.
Growing in smaller pots makes the plant root bound, but in a bottomless pot the roots can grow down and down and down. And I’m making use of all those big, black plastic pots that other plants and shrubs come in instead of just stacking them up in the garage.
I had decided to try this method last year when the morning glory I was growing up the trellis in regular pots weren’t as big as the odd one that made it in the rocky ground. I set the pots up about mid April ready for growing season.
I also added 4 bottomless pots to the trellis for climbing beans. I decided to try it there too as it was on the same wall as the morning glory trellis the ground was rock solid. The top photos show the pots set in place and then they will filled with a mixture of good soil, vermiculite and peat moss. Seeds were planted and the growing process began. The morning glory grew quickly and needed thinning out. There were also bottomless pots in front of the one shown and on the other side of the trellis. The transplants were repotted into these pots.
This photo was taken around the beginning of September and you can see the beans on the right grew really well, in fact they outgrew the trellis they were on. The morning glory all grew well and filled in that side of the arched trellis. When it came to pulling up the plants at the end of the season I knew the roots had grown right down into the rocky, solid soil and taken a firm hold.
I was pleased with this experiment and will trying it again this year and probably expanding to a few other spots in the garden.
Advantage: gives seeds a chance to get established in good soil
Disadvantage: not able to move the pots around like in a regular pot
Is this just another of my crazy ideas or have you tried this as well?
Here is my 2021 version of bottomless pots.
Other garden areas: