If it’s big enough to hold dirt and you can drill a few holes in the bottom, it’ll probably work.
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother: So, you have a roof deck garden that’s maybe, maybe not built to code? Keep it light! No terra cotta, no stone, no clay, no concrete, no ceramic.
It’s like Death Valley Up On Deck — Plus Humidity, Plus Wind: Your soil will dry out fast. So, avoid porous materials. Synthetic resin pots stay cooler and retain moisture longer. Light colors reflect the sun’s hottest rays; dark colors soak ‘em up and bake the roots. Metal also conducts heat pretty efficiently but you’ll notice that most of POD’s containers are aluminum.
Why? Because they’re pretty, okay? They’re cheap, too. Forget the garden section and check out classic Behren’s galvanized garbage cans – you should be able to find a 6-gallon container for well under $15. When a real scorcher of a day is expected, move your planters to the shade. Besides, aluminum and plastic are also frost-resistant and therefore easy to store and/or plant for the winter.
Size Matters: The bigger the better, my friends. Cucumbers, melons, and tomatoes must be grown in 5-gallon or larger containers. Basil, peppers, lettuce, and even bush beans can be grown in smaller containers. Still, shoot for something that holds at least a gallon of dirt, preferably more.
Fakin’ It: Honestly, if I hadn’t spent so much money on containers over the past decade, I’d be buying fiberglass and resin pots. Synthetic planters (formerly hideous monstrosities) have come a long way since POD’s planters were purchased. Now they’re light, durable, frost-resistant, and attractive.
Fakin’ It and Lazy: Okay, next year POD’s totally splurging on at least one self-watering synthetic container. If you’re just starting out, try a couple of these puppies. Let me know how they work, ‘kay? You can also make your own on the cheap (if you’re less interested in aesthetics): self-watering planter instructions