Containers forum: Drainage holes

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south-central alabama (Zone 8a)
olhippie
Mar 21, 2018 7:37 PM CST
I have (2)—- 17 gallon containers. They are about 20" across top and 14" on bottom. Going to try tomato and peppers in them. Will be first time for containers. Can anyone tell me about how many holes to put in bottom for draining..
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
Mar 21, 2018 8:58 PM CST
Those are huge containers! How tall are they? If very tall, I would pack it with old flower pots, etc, until you have about 10" of soil on the top. If they are low in height, just fill them with soil. As to drainage holes, three is standard, in a triangle pattern. Don't know the material, but if "plastic", try drilling a small whole first, and if it doesn't crack and split, you will be okay. If it does, you have to use a heated soldering to melt the holes, in a fragile plastic. Cheers!
south-central alabama (Zone 8a)
olhippie
Mar 22, 2018 6:23 AM CST
Thank You Frank,
Will let you know how the holes go. Will drill them later today. It's fairly thick plastic.
Name: Larry
Burleson, Texas (Zone 8a)
fredeboy1
Mar 26, 2018 4:31 PM CST
Be sure if you have the holes in the bottom to place some pottery pieces or large stones over them to prevent dirt or potting soil from sealing the hole drainage. Also if setting on a solid surface put some shims under the container to break the seal and allow drainage.
Good Luck
south-central alabama (Zone 8a)
olhippie
Mar 26, 2018 6:14 PM CST
Didn't have any problems with plastic cracking when drilling the holes. I have been wondering if I needed to have it off the ground a little.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Mar 28, 2018 5:46 AM CST
Yes, if you deal with fireants in your area, I would have it raised off the ground so you can observe any ant activity.

I wouldn't put rocks or clay pot pieces in the base. I cover the drain holes with old fiberglass screening. It retains the soil and allows drainage. It usually only lasts a season before the screen gets too plugged to allow good drainage but is easily replaced.

I would suggest you not use garden soil in the container as it tends to compact to easily. If you do, improve the drainage.

Container growing is not a mystery. The primary things are water and fertilizer. To me, that is easier to provide than in ground. Good luck!

Be content moving inch by inch because, by days end, the inches, will add up to feet and yards.

Fulfilling ambitious objectives is usually done one step at a time.
south-central alabama (Zone 8a)
olhippie
Mar 28, 2018 6:59 AM CST
I'm hoping it want be to hard. I do have ants. Depending when the rain gets here tomorrow and how much, I plan on filling and setting out some tomatoes and peppers in them over the weekend. Was wanting to plant some things on Good Friday, but may be to wet.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Mar 28, 2018 7:10 AM CST
fredeboy1 said:Be sure if you have the holes in the bottom to place some pottery pieces or large stones over them to prevent dirt or potting soil from sealing the hole drainage. Also if setting on a solid surface put some shims under the container to break the seal and allow drainage.
Good Luck

I will often put a used coffee filter at the bottom over the drainage holes to catch the soil - seems to work really well.

Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
Amaryllis Roses Annuals Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Mar 28, 2018 7:31 AM CST
I have 2 giant pots on my patio also -- I plant peppers, cherry tomatoes and/or red or sweet potatoes in them. The potatoes don't produce very much, but the vines are very showy. And the peppers do better in the pot than in the ground. In the fall, I remove part of the soil and then over winter I dump coffee grounds, banana peels etc in the pots to fill them back up - by spring it is all fairly composted - works very well for me.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Mar 28, 2018 7:56 AM CST
pod said:Yes, if you deal with fireants in your area, I would have it raised off the ground so you can observe any ant activity.

I wouldn't put rocks or clay pot pieces in the base. I cover the drain holes with old fiberglass screening. It retains the soil and allows drainage. It usually only lasts a season before the screen gets too plugged to allow good drainage but is easily replaced.

I would suggest you not use garden soil in the container as it tends to compact to easily. If you do, improve the drainage.

Container growing is not a mystery. The primary things are water and fertilizer. To me, that is easier to provide than in ground. Good luck!



I agree about not using rocks or gravel at the base of containers. Old advise was to use shards of old pots. It worked just fine to hold the soil and allow drainage and didn't clog up.

I now use chunks of styrofoam or the packing popcorn that comes with various packages that get delivered up here. It's light weight and a layer of either type of material will keep the soil from leaking out and doesn't clog up and need to be replaced ... Smiling

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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