Expert Advice

Container & Raised Bed Gardening

Posted on March 10, 2018


Martin Gottlieb
High Caliper Growing
Share

I’ve been gardening most of my life, well over fifty years, and about 12 years ago I started growing way more plants in containers then ever before.   My driveway was the only spot that received lots of sun so that’s where I placed them.  At one point I had approximately 150 large pots there, so many that I had to park my cars on the street.   Hurricane “Sandy” solved my shade problem and opened up my back yard to the sun and I relocated my container garden to a nice, sunny, 30 x 15 foot plot.

About six years ago I added a number of raised beds to my container garden. From my viewpoint raised beds qualify as containers – only larger ones.

Over the years, container/raised bed gardening has become very popular and with good reasons. Many books and on-line articles have been written on the subject so all I will say is they are great where space is an issue.  They can be located wherever one wants and they conveniently grow wonderful plants.

Tomatoes Closeup in Smart PotContainers and raised beds come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors and materials and I’ve tried many of them. Years ago, I settled on using “Smart Pots” and “Big Bag Beds”.  Both of these containers are made of the same, porous, durable fabric.  The only differences between the two are the sizes and shapes.  “Smart Pots” are simply as the name states “pots”, sometimes called grow bags and “Big Bag Beds” are the brand’s version of raised beds.  What’s great about the “Big Bag Beds” is that they require no construction, you just unfold them, fill with planting media and plant.

I have a number of the same containers that I’ve been using for 12 years and they are in perfect shape. I leave them out year round and ice and snow doesn’t bother them at all.  They don’t break or fall apart after a tough winter.  I’ve also found that their physics, the way water and air move through these containers, is so much better than hard-sided pots.  Drainage isn’t an issue, they stay cooler in the summer and they air-root prune encouraging plants to develop more efficient root systems.  All of this is due to the porous fabric.

Click here to see a video about Smart Pots.

Smart Pots are available at Hicks Nurseries.

Written by guest blogger Marty Gottlieb, Smart Pots

Ask An Expert




Categories

Employee Profile

Alison Caldwell

Need help finding the right plant?

Testimonials

Share

“Best selection on LI. Helpful staff. Great displays for inspiration.” – C. Mazza. 

Share

 
“Beautiful flowers, beautiful shrubs, beautiful everything!” –Kevin M.                                         

 

Share

“I wish my backyard was bigger so I can keep buying awesome stuff from Hicks!” –Jeanne S.

Share

“I love taking my granddaughter to see hicks beautiful christmas, Halloween, and Easter displays! Thanks for a job well done!” –Mary Ellen S.

Share

“I would like to commend you on the wonderful staff you have. A garden center should be a happy place. Everyone at Hicks had a smile and a pleasant word and I will continue to come back year after year.” Joan H.

Share

“I just got home from a trip to Hicks Nursery. I was in awe of how many varieties of tomatoes are there! Actually, there is a huge selection of everything!! One stop shopping at its best!”  -Cathy A.

Share

“Thank you for carrying such a large selection of organic herbs. I got behind in some of my seeds and really focus on an all organic garden. I was pleasantly surprised today by how big the selection was in all herbs. Got all the herbs I wanted.”  –Sophie L

Share

“I love Hick’s for all the beautiful flower’s I plant in our yard every Spring. They have great quality and friendly service.”  – Erika M.

Share

“I won’t shop anywhere else. Best plants in Nassau County. Great selection and the staff is both knowledgeable & helpful.” – Patricia M.

Share

“You get everything right, knowledgeable & friendly staff, great quality plants, the gorgeous flower show, Otto and Santa.” –Pat B.

Share

“I shop at Hicks and bring the flats back to our home in CT. I will always be a Long Island Girl.” –Lisa D.

Share

“Hicks has always been a leader in the Green Industry; even during trying times. I hope the people appreciate just how wonderful Hicks Nursery truly is!” Erik F.

Share

“Beautiful! We’ve been twice and will visit again. The show is always a LI spring highlight – great work! BTW, love the new landscape design center more visible and accessible – had a great consultation!”          – Jacqueline S.

Share

“I so enjoy going to Hicks. It is a beautiful place and I feel refreshed when I leave there. Hicks offers so much more besides flowers. I usually meet old friends there every time I go.” –Anne D.

Share

“You have a great selection of plants, some of which I have never seen!! The blue orchids are out of this world!!” – Rae K.