Mini-Raised Beds: Smart Pots (Part 2)

PhotoGrid_1433506994145In Houston, raised beds are essential to growing vegetables…the intermittent flooding makes it virtually impossible to grow them in the native soil. Over the last couple years, I’ve been looking for ways to add edibles to my existing landscaping. The bee/butterfly/native landscaping is finally growing strong and the soil systems and structures are getting established, so I didn’t want to tear it all out and start from scratch to install traditional raised beds.

I love the idea of using Smart Pots as mini-raised garden beds. They fit into small spaces and are easy to move as the seasons and garden changes. For more about the Smart Pot, click here for Part 1.

As I’ve used the Smart Pots in my garden, I’ve noticed that they drain really well in heavy and torrential rains. The downside is that pot breathes so well that the soil also dries out really quickly in hot, sunny drier times. This water loss is hard on the plants and water bill.

In my garden, they work best when partially buried rather than placed directly on the ground. I buried the pot about 4 inches in the ground and then piled a few inches of soil around the base of the pot so the bottom 6-inches of pot was in contact with the native soil. The native soil acts as insulation against evaporation and keeps the soil in the pot moister longer.

Partially burying the Smart Pot gives me the best of both worlds, a portable mini-raised bed that conserves some water.

Do you use Smart Pots? Or other items to make raised beds? What do you use? What works best for you? Please post them in your comments…I’d love to learn from you! Happy Gardening!