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Are bark chips recommended as a base in containers, under the compost?

Last post 20-08-2018 11:08 AM by ASunnyAspect. 6 replies.

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  • 03/08/2018 04:48 PM
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    {re this thread's layout & lack of paragraphing: sorry re lack of paragraphing, but there seems to be an ERROR ON THE RHS WEBPAGE ("Write a New Post" Webpage) i.e. I CANNOT get this posting to show the paragraph breaks I have typed in!:} Are bark chips recommended as a base in containers (placed at the base of the container, beneath the soil)? For drainage, water retention, unclagging compost, etc. I always thought they were, but don't do much gardening, so would appreciate some advice. We are about to plant out some lovely miniature roses we purchased. I have read up on the recommended medium of soil etc. to use, & have read that a 4:1 mixture (4 parts: John Innes No. 3 compost) (1 part: multi-purpose compost) is a good blend to use. So we've prepared that. Then I was about to start putting the bark chips in yhe base. But I wasn't sure how MUCH bark chip - i.e. depth of bark chips within the pot (measured in cm or inches) - to place in th pots. The pots we will be using range from 2 pots of 30cm diameter right up to 2 pots of 45('ish)cm diameter. Which is when I read online that bark chips - & for that matter gravel - are not only only unnecessary in the bases of containers but can in fact HINDER the required drainage or water retention, & will in fact eventually damage the plant. These are some of those advice-containing Web pages: The Myth of Using Gravel and Bark to Drain Containers and Planters ... https://blog.gardeningknowhow.com › Garden Trends can bark be used at bottom of pot for drainage http://www.growsonyou.com/question/show/73714 Garden Myth: Gravel in Pots and Containers | Today's Homeowner https://www.todayshomeowner.com/garden-myth-putting-gravel-in-pots-and-containers/ Is this true?! Should I NOT use bark chips (we have no gravel, nor any broken pots, so they were never an option!) There is SO much much Yes-No-Yes advice online it is difficult to sift through it all & find the TRUTH!! ,-)

    ~ ASunnyAspect ~
  • 03/08/2018 07:59 PM
    • Blackstart
    • Warwickshire
    • 06 Dec 2010
    • 462
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    Hi, all I can say is that apart from a few pieces of broken pottery (used in a crock pot with only one drainage hole), I have never put bark or anything else in the base of a pot before adding a good quality compost. A good compost will be free draining anyway. Blackstart

  • 04/08/2018 06:44 AM
    • poppikin
    • Glorious Surrey
    • 06 Apr 2009
    • 579
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    Paragraphing should be OK if you do it in Explorer. Poppikin

  • 04/08/2018 07:37 AM
    • Backache
    • W. Kent
    • 31 Dec 2012
    • 266
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    Thats excellent advice from Blackstart. I have heard that if bark chips are used on any soil their natural decomposing process will remove valuable Nitrogen which should be made up to restore a well balanced medium for plants to thrive.

  • 20/08/2018 10:48 AM
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    Re "Paragraphing should be OK if you do it in Explorer. Poppikin" Do you mean, create it in HTML? Or do you mean to post it straight into this website? I WOULD post it in directly, that way, but I tend to create posts off-line, before pasting them into the webpage, to avoid losing the draft text! We create most of our postings in a .txt file, which is about the most 'simple' a format/software that is available on our computer! THEN paste that text from the .txt file into the forum webpage.

    ~ ASunnyAspect ~
  • 20/08/2018 11:02 AM
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    Thanks all for the advice. Think I will AVOID using bark chips, then! I am pleased to see that I am NOT the only person asking this question. e.g. someone else posted the same question 6 years ago,elsewhere online: [THREAD:] can bark be used at bottom of pot for drainage [Question asked on 15 Mar, 2012] (http://www.growsonyou.com/question/show/73714) So we are "not alone" in our belief these chips could be used as drainage! ,-D BTW, I am wondering just HOW this advie re using bark chips came about, then. And am thinking that maybe somebody suggested bark chips for usage in planters of SHORT-TERM usage only; where any damage would be limited if the bark chips would only be in use for 1 season. Perhaps...

    ~ ASunnyAspect ~
  • 20/08/2018 11:08 AM
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    BTW, we STILL can't get the paragraphing to show properly! And THIS time I created my last post by typing straight into the forum webpage (rather than using .txt file). :-/ We are using a standard PC, Window, & Internet Explorer, so can' think what the problem is. Hey ho! Maybe the problem will rectify itself some time, by itself! ,-D

    ~ ASunnyAspect ~