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Biodegradable Pots- Great for The Organic Gardener

Updated on April 6, 2011

Biodegradable Pots- Great for the Organic Gardener

For every gardener that grows plants from seed, knows and understands that the time quickly comes when that little seedling needs to be transplanted to a larger container to grow to its full potential before being transplanted in the outdoor elements. It is important that a plant that remains in a container, to not become root bound and deprived of nutrients. Some plants such as asparagus, cilantro and dill to name a few are not recommended to start from seed indoors due to the fact they do not take well to transplanting, unless of course using biodegradable containers.

Biodegradable containers are simply containers that are made from material that when put into the ground will decompose, no need for taking the plant out of the container, just stick the whole thing in the ground and cover it with dirt and that’s it. Biodegradable containers are great for those fussy plants that do not like to be transplanted, like cucumbers, and asparagus. I have used Jiffy pots before in the past but have found that though they do decompose in the ground fine, some plants that I grew in them did not grow so well. I noticed that these containers were constantly pulling away moisture from the plants. This would result in the plant drying out very quickly causing the plant to constantly go into shock. I would only reserve these containers for my cucumbers, melons, asparagus, and all the fussy plants that do not like transplanting.

The Coir Pot

This year I came across a biodegradable container that is made from the outer husk of the coconut consisting of both fiber and coir, all organic material having no harmful effects to the environment. These containers are very beneficial to the soil and the plant as well, having a higher resistance to mold which for me is great considering I use a greenhouse to accommodate the majority of my growing, and this eliminates any need for fungicides. The coir containers are rich with beneficial nutrients like copper, zinc, magnesium, and iron. The pots unlike the jiffy pots do wick water off allowing the container to last a much longer time and will hold its form for up to 5 years. The coir pot is also known to retain more moisture which helps to promote faster plant growth and a stronger root system.

I have so far been very well pleased with these containers, and find that they are much more superior than every other biodegradable container I have used and highly recommend them. These containers should not only be reserved for those fussy plant but for all plants. The choir container is a much better choice than plastic container in many ways. The above mentioned benefits for the plant and soil and for the environment as well. No need to worry about recycling these containers. If you are serious about organic gardening try these coir pots today.

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    • profile image

      Stephen 7 years ago

      Not a problem. It's not a major concern, just a side note. I bought 300 of these pots last year, and have been using them like crazy. Last spring I planted about 50 baby pampas grass (about 3" tall) into coir pots, then planted them into soil with the pot, once they were established. Nearly all came back this year. I may dig a couple up, to see if there is any remainder of them left.

      I will keep my eye open for updates to this, and will add more feedback myself with anything I learn!

      Thanks!

    • rpalulis profile image
      Author

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Stephen, The roots grow right through the coir pot. I am not sure the exact time it takes for the coir pot to break down in the soil. If your concerned about the the roots being bound, you could experiment but cutting the bottom out of one plant and and plant two of the same plant near each other in the same soil, and see if you notice any difference.

      Thanks for bringing this up, I will be conducting my own experiments this summer and will have to add to this hub later on in the season.

    • profile image

      Stephen 7 years ago

      How fast do the coir pots last after transplanted into soil? Do they bio-degrade quickly? I'm concerned about them lasting long enough to promote the roots being too dense and compacted, and not having a good opportunity to grow out into the soil. What is your experience/opinion with this?

      Thanks!

    • rpalulis profile image
      Author

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Thanks prasetio, I have been late myself with providing new hubs. Now that the gardening season is here I am finding it very difficult to balance my time. Thanks for stopping by my friend. Take care- Rob.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      My friend, rpalulis. Sorry I am late to know this hub. You always teaching us new and interesting things, especially realated with gardening. Great hub my friend! Rated up...

      Love and peace,

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      So glad to learn about coir pots. Thanks. Voted up and useful.

    • rpalulis profile image
      Author

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Wow plastic wear made out of potatoes- that's pretty cool. I would love to try these edible utensils.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Very nice. I'm amazed at a local eatery that has only "plastic wear" made out of potatoes. The disposable eating utensils are as strong as plastic but disappears after a little time. Great post as always! God bless!

    • rpalulis profile image
      Author

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Katie, I think its wonderful that you share gardening with your children and very cool that you all use biodegradable pots. Thanks for the read, hope you have a wonderful gardening season.

      toknowinfo, what a great idea on how to use these coconut fiber pots, I will have to give this a try. So glad I was able to get you in the spring mood through this hub. take care, Rob.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 7 years ago

      I have used biodegradable pots and I really like them. If you take the coconut fiber pots and put them in an open wire hanging basket and pull apart the fibers on the side, you can get some flowers to pop out through the side of pot. It is a pretty sight. Thanks for getting me in the mood for spring. Rated up and useful.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I can't imagine gardening without biodegradable pots, the kids love planting in them and watching their successful plants make their way into the garden. Great tips and advice on using biodegradable pots and thank you! :) Katie

    • rpalulis profile image
      Author

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Thanks Bethany, I too am not a big fan of the plastic containers. I hope to add some photos in the next couple of weeks of all my tomato plants in the greenhouse that are planted in these coir pots. Take care- Rob

    • profile image

      Bethany Culpepper 7 years ago

      Love it! I hate all those plastic containers - sort of defeats the point of everything. Thanks for the info.

    • rpalulis profile image
      Author

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Darlene, Thanks for being my friend and fan, your the best! Aren't these coir pots awesome, thanks for stopping by.

      Cheapsk8chick, I have been very impressed with the coir pots so far, no drying out like the jiffy pots. Thanks for commenting, hope you have a successful gardening season.

      Pamela99 your right these coir pots would be a great benefit to poor soil conditions.

      Chatkath, thanks for stopping by! These coir pots keep it green in multiple ways- lol

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      One more great idea R, keepin it green too - so perfect! I must try these little pots as starters and more!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Those containers definitely have advantages. Since most of our soil is very sandy they would be great here. Thanks for the information.

    • cheapsk8chick profile image

      cheapsk8chick 7 years ago

      Awesome hub! I know what you mean about those jiffy pots drying out the plants. It took me forever to put two & two together to figure out that's what was doing it. I've never used the coir pots, but will now! Thanks for the info!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      This is an excellent hub my friend, I use these all the time, and it's so nice no mess no fuss. You are my hero, always thinking about our wonderful Earth, I will follow you forever. Your fan and your friend, love & peace darski

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