Houzz Logo Print

When is a container not a container?

3 months ago

Hello all. I'm a beginner and have been learning a lot from this site. My question is about containers vs. raised beds and whether and how shape, size and contact with the ground influence whether a container is acting like a container, or like a raised bed. Specifically if it should determine what media to use.

Main question: I have a couple citrus trees in large pots that I have placed on top of an in-ground bed. The containers have bottoms with the usual drainage holes. Since they have some (minimal) contact with the earth through the drainage hole, should I be treating these like containers or raised beds in terms of the media I use?

Some other (somewhat silly) hypothetical scenarios:

1. A pot with no solid bottom, just a screen to keep the mix in, elevated on stilts. Does the lack of bottom affect perched water at all? My guess is no.

2. Same bottomless (screened) pot placed in contact with ground soil. Would this behave significantly differently than a pot with only a single drainage whole in contact with the ground? i.e. how much does the amount of contact between the pot soil and the ground soil matter?

3. An oddly shaped tall raised bed in contact with the earth. E.g., would a tall bottomless "bed" like a 1' x 1' square column that is 6' tall behave differently than a 6'x6' square bed that is 1' tall?

4. A swimming pool filled with soil, surface planted with small plants. Still a container?

Thanks for playing!

Comments (13)