By Kris Wetherbee
The Herb Companion
(EXTRACTS) All types of pots have good and bad points. Plastic pots are inexpensive and lightweight, but they deteriorate in outdoor conditions after several seasons of use. Wood containers can be relatively lightweight and portable (depending on their size). Just be sure to steer clear of wood treated with creosote, penta or other phenolic compounds. Redwood or cedar, which are naturally rot-resistant, are good choices for containers.
Clay pots are porous and therefore dry out quickly, making them well-suited for rosemary, oregano and other drought-tolerant herbs. They do break easily, so take care when moving them indoors for the winter. Natural materials like stone or cement containers last a lifetime but are more difficult to maneuver.
You also might want to think beyond the confines of a ready-made container. For example, recycle a leaky birdbath into a stylish container for growing lady’s mantle, nasturtiums or a sprawling rosemary. Turn an old pair of leather boots into a unique pot for growing trailing herbs and flowers. Even a vintage washbasin, rusty wheelbarrow or unused enamel pot can be turned into a container for herbs as long as the item is large enough to accommodate your plants.
Whatever object catches your fancy, be sure it has drainage holes in the bottom. You can always poke or drill several holes in the bottom of any object lacking sufficient drainage. A masonry bit works great for drilling holes in old crocks, earthenware pitchers, stoneware or other ceramic items. If a recycled item leaks, so much the better. Think leaky watering cans, chipped crocks, a cracked ice bucket or a punctured enamel pot. Elevating containers on pottery feet, bricks, stones or even a pot turned upside-down also helps improve drainage.
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