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hello

 

i am not very able bodied and am looking for something lightweight to put in the bottom of pots for drainage

i have seen some lightweight stuff called vermucellite in garden centres

would this be any good?

thanks

Bookertoo

Vermiculite is excellent for lightening and improving drainage of compost in pots, but would get washed out if used as you would like.  Try asking people, including shopkeepers,  to keep some expanded polystyrene for you, the white stuff TV's, fridges etc, come wrapped in.  It is easily  broken it up into lumps and use that in your pot bases.  It is totally inert, keeps things warm in winter and helps drainage when it pours.   Also makes the pots lighter, which is always a good thing. 

Oooh thanks  bookertoo- what a brillant idea!

Bookertoo

You're welcome, have used it for years so know it works.  Have fun. 

I can second Bookertoo's suggestion.......it is an excellent alternative to broken crocks for drainage.

Word of warning tho........watch where you break it up.......tiny pieces will inevitably break off and get everywhere.  Not good to have it blowing around your garden ( or house come to that ) !

I also use it when making up compost for orchids.

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my polystyrene 'dealer' is on red alert!

thanks both

My daughter bought some large decorative pots then realised she could not move them. I emptied them out put another pot upside down then topped it up and planted, it did the trick. I do use foam as drainage but bin it once the pot is done as it cannot really be cleaned for reuse.

Frank

Thanks Frank - what an ingenious idea. I will try half your way and half polystyrene way.

thanks for taking the time to reply

much appreciated

Bookertoo

That is indeed a brilliant idea, just got used to the polystyrene I guess.  I do sometimes drop smaller planted pots onto a brick or stone inside a very big pot so that the flowers 'flow' over the sides without half a ton of compost - that works well too.  Lots of ways of using huge pots that don't involve huge muscles - though I do have some that did, and would require a JCB to move them now, but have never any intention of moving those anyway.  

Aster2

You can buy pot feet as well, they keep the pots off the ground and that helps the drainage.

Thanks all- i love this site- some ingenious ideas and great people.

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