Ask a Question forum: Organic pots?

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North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Apr 24, 2018 11:09 PM CST
Hi everyone,

I want to grow some organic herbs indoors, probably under grow lights. I'm wondering what the best and most organic pots are for this purpose? I recently found some peat pots that are certified for organic growers, but they seem to dry out pretty fast. Someone suggested terra cotta but do we really know what's in them and if they don't add some type of undesirable chemical to our herbs?

I'm very leary of plastic because, really, do we know what's in them and what might leach out?

Also, what type of soil should I use? Organic, obviously, but potting mix? Or top soil? Or both mixed together?

Any and all advice is greatly welcome.
AKA Joey.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 24, 2018 11:46 PM CST
Terra cotta pots.

Look for soil in bags from the Kellogg company.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Bill
Livonia MI (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 25, 2018 4:50 AM CST
I would choose plastic because of price and a multitude of sizes. Check the bottom to see if they are made in the USA. I would think that you would be fine to proceed.
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North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Apr 25, 2018 6:28 AM CST
BigBill said:I would choose plastic because of price and a multitude of sizes. Check the bottom to see if they are made in the USA. I would think that you would be fine to proceed.


Thanks Bill, but we still don't know what's in the plastic, and what can leach out into your food. Great concern with all plastic sources, even the USA, of endocrine disruptors. I do want to stay away from plastic where food is concerned.
AKA Joey.
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Apr 25, 2018 3:34 PM CST
Hey Joey!
I share your concern about the material or chemicals used to make pots, from lead to PCB's to an old dormant disease lingering on an old 'safe' pot. May I suggest an old coffee mug or soup bowl made of ceramic? all you'll need is a high speed drill, a masonry bit and a very, verry light touch, but you could drill drainage holes into it and voila instant (sort of) pots that will look apropo in your kitchen. I did this with a soup mug and basil for my sister and at least according to her she still has it.

Just a thought anyway.
J.R.
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Apr 25, 2018 3:37 PM CST
josebaca said:Hey Joey!
I share your concern about the material or chemicals used to make pots, from lead to PCB's to an old dormant disease lingering on an old 'safe' pot. May I suggest an old coffee mug or soup bowl made of ceramic? all you'll need is a high speed drill, a masonry bit and a very, verry light touch, but you could drill drainage holes into it and voila instant (sort of) pots that will look apropo in your kitchen. I did this with a soup mug and basil for my sister and at least according to her she still has it.

Just a thought anyway.
J.R.

Thank you J.R., that is a very nice idea. However, the drilling thing is no longer in my league. At this point, I'm really looking at something to buy, not something to make or create myself. I used to make everything out of something else, but can't do everything these days!
AKA Joey.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Apr 25, 2018 5:39 PM CST
If you are concerned that there MIGHT be something undesirable in plastic or terra cotta, then you will also have you be concerned with most all potting soils, including those that are labeled organic. And what about your water supply? Has that been tested and certified?

I suggest you get in touch with a commercial grower who has been certified to be organic to find out just what can and cannot be used.
Will Creed
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North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Apr 25, 2018 6:20 PM CST
WillC said:If you are concerned that there MIGHT be something undesirable in plastic or terra cotta, then you will also have you be concerned with most all potting soils, including those that are labeled organic. And what about your water supply? Has that been tested and certified?

I suggest you get in touch with a commercial grower who has been certified to be organic to find out just what can and cannot be used.


Thanks Will. Well water, yes tested and certified, repeated yearly. I also use a really great filter for anything I'll eat. The potting soil I'm using is certified for use by organic growers. My only concern at this point is the pots.

AKA Joey.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 25, 2018 6:46 PM CST
My local hydroponic store sells pots made of some type of fabric. They claim to be organic. I'm pretty sure there is a kangaroo on the label. Okay, I found it. Boxer brown pouch.
://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/15325/root-pouches?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4onco9vW2gIViEoNCh1hcggpEAQYASABEgJyOfD_BwE
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Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Apr 25, 2018 6:49 PM CST
I've used those, Greene. I do like them and the plants in them do well. It's just that they aren't lovely to look at. They're pretty utilitarian. I use them for growing things I later pot up in nicer looking pots.
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North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Apr 25, 2018 7:00 PM CST
Just searched for "organic grow bags." Very nice. And not expensive either! I'm happy with the look--I'm starting out with organic peat pots, and will pot up to organic grow bags (the peat pots are great starters, but are small and the larger ones are not organic.) Also, the peat pots don't last like the grow bags.

Okay, I'm happy now! Thank you all! Now let's hope the herbs will do well in my window!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
AKA Joey.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Apr 25, 2018 7:04 PM CST
Peat pots are fine, but when you pot them up, tear off the peat pot. I've found the plant roots never go through the peat pots. They stay inside and get root bound.
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North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
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joannakat
Apr 25, 2018 7:10 PM CST
plantmanager said:Peat pots are fine, but when you pot them up, tear off the peat pot. I've found the plant roots never go through the peat pots. They stay inside and get root bound.


Karen, thank you so much. I would not have known to do that so you probably just saved a bunch of my future plants! Is it the same with coir? I just bought a thyme and rosemary plant, each in a coir "pot."
AKA Joey.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have no use for internet bullies!
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greene
Apr 25, 2018 8:56 PM CST
Oooh, that just reminded me of something. There is such a thing as a 'poo pot' - instead of using peat moss or coir, the pots are made from cow manure.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 25, 2018 8:58 PM CST
joannakat said:

Thanks Bill, but we still don't know what's in the plastic, and what can leach out into your food. Great concern with all plastic sources, even the USA, of endocrine disruptors. I do want to stay away from plastic where food is concerned.

If you can find them , get used ones, they are done leaching if they ever did.

North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Apr 25, 2018 9:00 PM CST
RpR said:
If you can find them , get used ones, they are done leaching if they ever did.



No thanks, not my thing where food is concerned.

AKA Joey.
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Apr 25, 2018 9:07 PM CST
greene said:Oooh, that just reminded me of something. There is such a thing as a 'poo pot' - instead of using peat moss or coir, the pots are made from cow manure.


I saw those! They make them in larger sizes too and they're supposed to be very good for both plants and environment, but they're not certified for organic use. Actually, it's a four-letter rating that shows that the item meets standards for use in organic gardening or farming. The peat pots have it though so it's a very good place to start. Because I'll be eating these herbs, I want to be very careful. But those poo pots sure look good, don't they? Such a good idea!

AKA Joey.

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