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Permaculture • Homesteading • Organic Gardening • Self Sufficiency • Sustainability

Best Containers For Organic Gardening

Gardening has changed over the last few decades, especially with the introduction of new technologies, such as smart gardening, DIY hydroponics, aquaponics, and quick, easy grow bags. However, old-fashioned gardening is still a thing with container gardening, an old concept that’s receiving some renewed popularity.  

Garden Containers

When it comes to organic gardening with containers, you want the right container. As a general rule of thumb, organic gardeners are looking for something that is not only safe for hosting your plant but is also environmentally safe. The primary focus on containers for organic gardening is choosing something that is completely free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or any other synthetic chemicals.   

Containers that are renewable resources are a plus but if you are going with something previously used, you’ll need to discover whether or not there is something residual in there that shouldn’t be.   It’s not as if you can see the residue of a past fungicide, so what do you do? Choosing the best containers for organic gardening is important for keeping things organic and the purpose of this list is to show you what the best containers are going to be.

What to Look for in a Container for Organic Gardening

There are several things that are worth keeping an eye out for. When it comes to environmentally friendly containers, you know that you are going to get something that’s either natural or constructed out of sterile plastics.   

  • Sterile Plastics
  • All Natural Grow Bags
  • Natural Wood Containers
  • Natural Stone Containers
  • Recycled Plastics

BPA Free, Food Safe Plastics

The biggest benefit of using plastic containers is the cost but be careful what you buy. Sterilized plastics are plastics that have undergone what is called “autoclaving.” Autoclaving is the process by which the plastic is blasted with super hot steam. The heat of the steam sterilizes the plastic completely while the blasting process helps to wash off the residue.   

All-natural containers are always going to be your best bet. With plastics, you get what you get or you have to sterilize them. Natural containers need none of the above and all they will come into contact with is what you introduce to them. Recycled plastics are a decent option but, like regular plastics, you have to be sure that they are properly sterilized.

When you purchase recycled plastics they are generally sold without any kind of harmful byproducts. They are recycled plastic after all, and the entire goal is to embrace renewable resources. That kind of focus always leans towards the avoidance of synthetic chemicals that will affect the growth and development of your gardening plants. 

Amazing Creation Stackable Planter, Vertical Garden Planter, Strawberry Planter, Indoor/Outdoor Planters, 5 Tier Garden Tower, Herb Planter for Growing Vegetables and Succulents (Off White)
  • Gardening Made Easy - Each pod accommodates 5” plants which makes it easy to...
  • Indoor/Outdoor Planters - This includes one Vertical Planter that are made of 5...
  • Great Starter Kit - Our planters serve as a great starter set to plant. Our...

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Whichever way you choose to go, organic gardening eschews all forms of man-made chemicals much in the same way that we try to avoid all of the unnatural ingredients that come in super processed food.   

Now that you know what you want to look for and the best option for your organic gardening needs, we can explore the best available options on the market for your plants. 

Best Containers for Organic Gardening

For container gardening, you will need to ensure that you have plenty of space, especially if you are new to it. Some of these containers are large and some of them or small so there’s a little bit of something for everybody. 


Boldly Growing Cedar Raised Planter Box

Untreated, natural woods are the best choices for growing plants, which includes cedar, redwood, and teak as some of the best options. This cedar box falls happily beneath that umbrella and is made from untreated wood. It’s tall enough to be about waist high, which is arguably one of the best features about the entire thing.

One thing that gardening will do is work on your lower back and this raised box will go a long way towards alleviating that sort of issue. You can take care of your plants daily without ever needing to bend over. The addition of a shelf underneath is a great way to save space. You can keep everything that you need to keep your plants healthy and thriving directly beneath them.   

Cedar is strong enough to support the weight of both the soil and the plants growing within and is highly resistant to rot at the same time. So this box will be with you for the long term.  It was designed with heavy loads in mind and can easily hold 5 cubic feet of your soil choice.   

Cedar Raised Planter Box with Legs – Elevated Wood Raised Garden Bed Kit – Grow Herbs and Vegetables Outdoors – Naturally Rot-Resistant - Unmatched Strength Lasts Years (4x2) by Boldly Growing
  • NATURAL, UNFINISHED WOOD: Product looks great as-is, or finish planter box to...
  • STURDY HEAVY-DUTY DESIGN: This beautiful elevated garden bench planter is...
  • STRONG, ROT-RESISTANT YELLOW CEDAR: Easily supports the weight of soil, water,...

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Also, Boldly Growing is confident enough in the longevity of its cedar construction that it comes with a one-year warranty, which generally exceeds those offered by competitors, especially when it comes to boxes constructed of pine.   

Lastly, you don’t have to assemble the box with screwdrivers, nuts, bolts, or do any heavy lifting. The box comes designed for a simple and easy installation process so you will be up and running in just a few minutes. The only drawback is that it doesn’t come with casters so, if you want wheels on the bottom, you will have to purchase them separately and install them yourself.

ProsCons
Sturdy and reliable Holds 5 cu. ft.  Waist-high for easy access Easy to assemble One-year warrantyDoesn’t come equipped with casters

Keter Urban Bloomer 12.7 Gallon Raised Garden Bed

Another waist-high product that will save your lower back is the Keter Urban Bloomer. This raised garden is constructed of completely rot-free polypropylene. This is a clean and sterile resin that resists fade and degradation, even when exposed to continuous sunlight.   

The Keter comes with a water gauge that’s perfect for keeping track of your soil moisture levels so you know when and how much water to add daily. The watering system includes a reservoir and drainage system so your roots aren’t overexposed, which leads to root rot and decay. The manual drainage tap does mean that you will have to keep tabs on your water and remember to drop the excess water out.

Keter Urban Bloomer 12.7 Gallon Raised Garden Bed with Self Watering Planter Box and Drainage Plug, Dark Grey
  • DIMENSIONS: 32. 3 in. L x 14. 7 in. W x 30. 7 in. H
  • WATER GAUGE: Easy to read water gauge indicates when plants need additional...
  • DRAINAGE SYSTEM that can be opened or closed for full control of watering

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It’s very simple to put together right out of the box and comes with a shelf, so you can stay organized and keep the necessities close at hand. Keter also provides a seedling tray, so you can nurture your seedlings into the early phase of their life cycle before transporting them into the large container, which is big enough to hold over 12 gallons of soil and water.   

Occasionally, you may run into drain issues with the manual drain, as it tends to leak very slowly. It’s not an “across the board” problem and certainly not a deal-killer, however, it’s worth keeping an eye on so you can make adjustments if necessary. 

ProsCons
Durable polypropylene resin Manual drainage tap Watering reservoir Included water gauge Includes a shelfOccasional complaints about a leaky manual drain

Smart Pots

Smart pots are a great choice for beginners looking to set up their very first container garden. There are a lot of benefits to smart pots as they are similar to grow bags, with soft material designed to allow for a solid level of aeration.   

The natural aeration also helps diffuse heat and decreases the ability of insects and other pests to penetrate, which cuts down on the lengths you have to go to to keep them out in other ways. If you are container gardening inside your home, so much the better.   

Smart Pots 10-Gallon Smart Pot Soft-Sided Container, Black with Cut handles
  • Soft-sided fabric aeration container that has the rigidity to hold its shape
  • Provides aeration, enhancing root structure, resulting in a vigorous plant with...
  • Allows excess heat to escape

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

They’re also the perfect starter tool because they are cost-effective, allowing you to grow a lot for a small price. The linked smart pot above is a 10-gallon smart pot, which is plenty for small vegetables or herbs. There are larger smart pots available if you have something larger in mind.   

Due to the softness of the construction material, it the sides do tend to slope down once you fill it up pretty well as gravity is a bit much. You’ll have to shore up the sides as best you can. 

ProsCons
Very cost-effective Fibrous material with plenty of aeration Environmentally friendly Allows for the release of heatSides tend to slope when the pot is filled

Earthbox

This “grow-anywhere” box is absolutely perfect for container gardeners who will never transplant from the container to the ground. Earthbox manufacturers containers that are their own irrigation system. Of course, this takes some of the fun out of the gardening for you, but is a major convenience nonetheless.   

Earthbox was built to be sustainable, requiring less use of resources to provide your plants with what they need to thrive. Its a low-maintenance system that was developed by commercial farmers. As aforementioned, it includes its own irrigation system, along with an aeration screen and wicking chambers.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It also comes with an optional staking system, which makes it very easy to grow vine-like fruits and vegetables. The peat-based growing media is all self-contained and the entire system is nearly self-regulating. 

ProsCons
Built-in irrigation system Built-in growing media Water reservoir Included wicking chamber and aeration screens Staking system (optional)Doesn’t leave much for you to do

All Things Considered

Its not too difficult to find sustainable, environmentally friendly containers that are the best type for organic produce. Some of the above takes much of the work out of it for you, while others will not only leave you satisfied in growing your own food, but in growing organic food in a sustainable and renewable manner.  

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