Norman Winter Tribune news service
Trays of flower transplants will no longer cause a mess, a sore back from picking them up and cluttering the garden shed with thoughts of future use. Thanks to the Eco+ Grande Pots, which surprised most of us at the garden center this year, we can now just pull four tabs and plant in the hole – a true ecological marvel.
Son James brought to my attention that shelves of beautiful bedding plants were being sold and displayed at major garden centers and what did I know about the new Eco+ Grande plantable containers? My first thought was, “Why doesn’t the gardener know that yet?”
It was several hours before I could get to the garden center to see them. When I arrived all plants were sold. How could that be? Did customers know they were buying the latest in science, technology and eco-friendly containers, or was it the pretty flowers? Incredibly, the scenario repeated itself twice before we both got our hands on some bedding plants in the new pots.
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You’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, at first you’d swear these pots are made of plastic, but they’re not. They are vegetable, developed from corn, sugar beets and switchgrass. Without getting too scientific, a biopolymer is made that resembles plastic.
Proven Winners Eco+ Grande containers have nutrients built into the container walls. The organic nutrients are rich in phosphorus, calcium and nitrogen. Planting directly in the ground, as the containers decay, nutrients are released to the roots throughout the season.
The process is simple: you pull off four tabs at the bottom of the pot before inserting them into the planting hole. Removing the tabs is important so that the roots are properly exposed to the soil and start growing. The containers and removed tabs can be planted in landscape beds or your favorite mixed containers. Water your plants well after planting. The Eco+ Grande containers will gradually dissolve over time, helping to nourish the plant’s roots.
By planting the entire container in the ground you minimize root disturbance, no need to worry about weekly feedings or worry about fertilizer runoff. Because climate and environmental conditions vary over a long growing season and across the country, the size of the pieces left in the ground can vary and can simply be ordered for the next growing season.
Son James planted some flat Blue My Mind evolvulus grown in the Eco+ Grande containers. He used a Proven Winners Twist n’ Plant Original Gardening Auger with a cordless drill. This made the project quick as the container slid perfectly into the hole. I had to plant with a shovel or trowel.
One way to look at the Eco+ Grande is like performance in a package. We planted flowers in all the bowls and then groaned at the effort it takes to pick up the small plastic pots. Then we think maybe we save and use them, maybe we recycle them. Next thing we know, we’ve crossed the line from the cluttered garden shed.
If, for whatever reason, you choose not to plant your Eco+ Grande in the ground, know that it’s eco-friendly and compostable, whether it’s the city compost system or your own. Proven Winners have been involved in years of research into the new Eco+ Grande and as they say they didn’t have to drill for oil to make them.
You have to admit it, with award winning flowers being grown in an Eco+ Grande, it’s a great time for a gardener. If you see them for sale I hope you will give them a try.