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How to Plant in Containers Sunken into the Ground

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Planting in containers sunken into the ground has advantages: Not only can burying pots in the ground be an attractive way to add plants to the garden but it also helps to keep plants from spreading and insulates plants so they need less water and stay warmer. Planting trees in pots in the ground may seem like it would offer similar advantages, but it can actually kill the tree.

Plants in Sunken Containers

Raised garden beds are popular for many reasons. They have the ability to be placed anywhere and are the only option for hard surfaces, such as parking lots or concrete patios. However, when you know how to plant in containers sunken into the ground, that opens up many other options for garden design. The pots in which you are planting should have drainage holes. Because the pots will become part of your garden design, choose pots of a certain color with wider rims so that the color is more visible if you choose.

Decide which plants will go in which containers. Before planting, first clear your planting area and remove weeds, grass or other unwanted plants from the area. Gather your pots and lay them out in your planting area to form the design that you like. Dig holes wide and deep enough to accommodate your pots. Home Depot suggests laying down weed control fabric over your planting area and cutting holes for the pots.

Home Depot recommends leaving a 1-inch border of weed control fabric inside the pots so that you can pull the fabric tight and tuck it under the lips of the pots for a neat look. Install the pots and plants and then apply mulch to your planting bed.

Sunken Garden Tips

You may wish to plant your pots in the ground in an area where the soil is not easy to dig. If this is the case, dig down farther than you need to fit the pots and refill the area with a high-quality potting soil mix. Save the soil you removed for putting back into the bed or for use in another area of your garden. One Green Planet suggests waiting for rain to come before digging, which can make digging easier. When designing your sunken garden, you can be efficient or playful, such as creating a design with your pots or planting strategically for shade or windbreaks for other plants.

If you want to plant something that spreads easily, such as mint, Gardeners’ World says planting it in a container in the ground is a good way to control its root growth. Garden Guides suggests cutting off the bottom of your plastic pots to encourage drainage if the drainage holes that came with your pot aren’t adequate.

Planting Container Trees

When you purchase a container tree, it is usually in a big plastic pot and also probably wrapped in a fiber bag or fiber pot of some sort. When you’re planting container trees, it is advisable to take them out of the pots. The fiber pots are supposed to break down, but they only break down quickly if they are in an environment with the right moisture and with microorganisms to break them down.

Planting trees in pots is not advisable for the same reason that planting some plants in pots is good – the pots don’t let the roots expand. The roots might be able to puncture the pot eventually, but if they don’t, they can circle around inside the pot, which stunts the tree enough that it eventually dies. Also, water can’t pass through the barrier of the pot, and this can lead to insufficient water.

How to Plant in Containers Sunken into the Ground. Sinking a planter into a garden bed provides a barrier between plants and the surrounding garden. This barrier prevents plants from spreading into nearby areas and also allows you to plant in the best type of soil for the particular plant regardless of garden soil …

How to Bury Plants in Pots in the Ground

By: Amelia Allonsy

21 September, 2017

Even novice gardeners know that plants in nursery containers should be transplanted immediately to prevent crowded containers, but there are exceptions to every rule. Many plants are considered invasive, but if you still want to add them to your garden, you can bury the pots in the ground to prevent the plant from spreading to unwanted areas of the garden. This method also works well for growing perennials that can be propagated by division. If you want to confine a plant to a 24-inch diameter space, plant in a 24-inch diameter container and dig and divide when the plants outgrow the container.

Repot the plant in a container one size larger if the plant seems overcrowded or is rootbound in the nursery container. Use a plastic nursery container or a ceramic container filled with a well-draining potting mix.

Water the plant thoroughly before burying in the ground. Pour water into the planter until water drains out the bottom drainage holes. This ensures the plant is well-watered before planting.

  • Even novice gardeners know that plants in nursery containers should be transplanted immediately to prevent crowded containers, but there are exceptions to every rule.
  • Many plants are considered invasive, but if you still want to add them to your garden, you can bury the pots in the ground to prevent the plant from spreading to unwanted areas of the garden.

Cut off the bottom of the plastic planting container about 1/2-inch up from the bottom, using a razor knife. This ensures adequate drainage. This works best with containers that are a minimum of 10 inches tall; many plant roots don’t extend beyond 8 inches deep, so you don’t need to worry about roots growing out from the container bottom. You can also bury ceramic containers, if desired, but you should drill several 1/2-inch diameter drainage holes in the bottom, using a power drill with a diamond-tipped drill bit for cutting through ceramic and glass.

Dig a hole for the pot that is 2 inches shallower than the container height and 2 inches wider than the container width. You can use a shovel, if desired, but post-hole diggers work well for achieving straight sides. The extra width makes it easy to fit the container in the hole, while setting the top rim of the pot above soil grade prevents invasive plants from spreading over the rim.

  • Cut off the bottom of the plastic planting container about 1/2-inch up from the bottom, using a razor knife.
  • You can also bury ceramic containers, if desired, but you should drill several 1/2-inch diameter drainage holes in the bottom, using a power drill with a diamond-tipped drill bit for cutting through ceramic and glass.

Insert the container into the hole; level the container so that the plant is upright.

Fill the empty space around the outside of the pot with bark chip mulch or shredded bark mulch. Pack the mulch tight enough to hold the pot upright in the hole. Mulch does not pack as tightly as soil, making it easier to dig up the container as needed. Increased drainage around the large bark chips also prevents cracking or breaking of the container, which could happen if packed soil applies too much pressure to the outside of the container.

Spread a 2-inch layer of bark chips or shredded bark mulch over the ground around the pot, adding enough mulch to completely conceal the above-ground planter rim. Add mulch to the soil in the container to blend the plant with the rest of your garden.

Even novice gardeners know that plants in nursery containers should be transplanted immediately to prevent crowded containers, but there are exceptions to every rule. Many plants are considered invasive, but if you still want to add them to your garden, you can bury the pots in the ground to prevent the plant from …