Selecting the right pots for a micro garden is not as simple as grabbing last year’s collection, adding soil, and planting whatever you want. Considerations such as product life and durability are important factors when deciding what goes where.
According to MicroGardener, there are positives and negatives to consider when deciding which pot is right for a specific plant or application. Some factors are:
Price and value are important. It may not make sense to invest in an elaborate pot that will be concealed by other plants or structures.
Making your own containers from available or discarded material can be rewarding and save money. Be careful that the materials you use are not harmful to the plants. Metal containers such as old coffee cans can work, but these heat up substantially in direct sunlight.
Considerations like product life and durability are important factors. If the pot will be sitting in a dominant position for years and years, investing in a more durable and attractive pot may be the best course. If the use is short-term, than cheaper ones can do the job.
Some retail pots require a considerable amount of fossil fuels and minerals to produce. Environmental sustainability is another good reason to consider making your own pots or reusing old ones.
Five elements are necessary to create the right environment for each plant. These are:
Drainage: the pot should have holes at the bottom to allow water to escape to keep from drowning the plant. Plants also acquire oxygen through their roots.
Porosity: porous containers like uncoated terra-cotta, compressed paper, wood, and other natural materials allow water and air to move through them. Moisture escaping through the sides is helpful for the plant and keeps them cool. However, plants will require more frequent watering.
Weight: the overall weight including the pot, plant, soil, and water can add up to a heavy load when you are trying to move the pot.
Food Safety: metals and plastic pots can affect the taste of edible plants, vegetables, and herbs. Better to stay with natural components.
Insulation Properties: plants are susceptible to temperature variations. It is important the soil and roots are insulated as the weather cools. A good thermal pot should have positive thermal properties and be dark in color to attract and hold heat.