How to Choose Between Clay and Plastic Pots for Container Gardening
Are you starting a container garden in your home? Container gardening is an excellent way of growing vegetables, fruits and flowers on your balcony or backyard, especially if you have a small space. As you consider setting up the garden, one of the essential choices to make is your potting solutions.
Two of the most popular options are clay and plastic pots. These two are significantly different and can influence the performance of your first container garden. Therefore, keep the following factors in mind when choosing between the two types:
Weight and Sturdiness of the Pots
Clay pots are incredibly sturdy and can last long when handled with care. This makes them suitable for a permanent container garden. However, they are extremely heavy and bulky, and moving them around can be difficult. Thus, whether you're setting up your garden on the balcony or backyard, choose a spot that won't require you to move the pots around. Grow flowers and vegetables that can stay out all day and night to avoid carrying the containers indoors.
Plastic pots are lightweight and durable. They are ideal if you need to move your plants around. Even large plastic pots are easy to carry without much effort. However, their lightweight nature means they can easily topple over, especially during a storm. Therefore, ensure you place them on stable ground or bring them indoors during a storm to protect your plants.
Drainage and Air Circulation
Clay is a naturally porous material which allows proper circulation of air and drainage of water. Thus, plants placed in a clay pot tend to grow better due to good drainage and air circulation. If your plants tend to wilt when exposed to a lot of water, you would be better off with clay pots.
On the other hand, plastic pots don't have any form of drainage. You can poke hold at the bottom and sides to drain water and allow air circulation, but they won't be as effective as clay pots. Therefore, plastic containers are great for moisture-loving plants.
Protection of Plants
Besides providing proper drainage and air circulation, clay pots also insulate the plant roots from cold weather. Their thick walls protect the roots from damaging temperature changes, especially during the summer and winter. On the downside, clay pots can break when exposed to freezing temperatures.
Unlike clay pots, plastic ones offer little protection to plants. However, you can get black pots, which tend to absorb heat and insulate plants against the cold weather. They may not be as effective as clay, but they perform better than their light-coloured counterparts.
Both clay and plastic pots have various advantages and disadvantages. Luckily, you don't have to work with one type. You can always use both options depending on the types of plants you need and their water requirements. Visit a wholesale pot supplier for great prices and a variety of pot selections.