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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


4 Ways to Create Drainage in Your Containers

Renee Valdes
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Whiskey Barrel Planter | The Home Depot's Garden Club

By firmly rooting your plants in big containers, they’ll grow more healthy over time and look amazing flanking your porch or deck.

But filling such large planters can sometimes take several bags of potting soil.

We’ve got four easy ways to help you fill out the bottom of your containers with materials you probably never thought of. So when you top off your planter with potting soil, you’ll have plenty of leftover dirt for other gardening projects. 


Garden barrel flowers

1. Plastic bottles. Recycle your plastic bottles by using them at the bottom of your big containers. Your flowers and plants will love the extra breathing room inside. Learn about planting an organic whiskey barrel garden.


Packing peanuts help fill large containers so you can save on potting mix.

2. Packing peanuts. Reuse your Styrofoam packing peanuts as filler for large pots. Packing peanuts create drainage and are built to last. At the bottom of a container, they will prevent your plants from drowning in too much water.


Window box with bromeliads.

3. Wood chips. Don’t have enough of the previous two ingredients? Try wood chips or pine bark nuggets. Inside a planter or window box, wood chips will break down into more soil over time.


Putting landscape rocks at the bottom helps fill a container.

4. Landscape rocks. Not only do landscape river rocks and pea pebbles create great drainage, they also help weigh down your containers if tipping is a concern.


For other great tips and ideas, read our other lists:

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