We've tried a few different things on the bottom to make them lighter. We had some foam pieces, and it made for a nice, light bin, but I didn't know what it was made out of, so I didn't want to use it for food crops, and it went in the trash. Then we tried yard debris (pine cones, sweetgum balls, and pine needles, mostly), but the soil kinda sank down through that over time so that it was only half full by the end of the season.
This year, we gave up and just filled the whole thing with a mix of soil and compost. They do weigh a lot (maybe 80 pounds), so they aren't practical for people who aren't super-strong like my husband. I certainly can't move them very far.
The pine cone mix worked a bit better with a layer of weedblock on top to hold the soil in. Still some sinking, but not as much. The plant roots had no problem going through the fabric to colonize the bottom half of the bin, though I can't imagine there was much nutrition for them in all that woody stuff.
Yep, you can definitely do that. One of my first gardening adventures when I moved into an apartment with a small deck was to buy a bunch of spring onions from the grocery and replant the white sections after I ate the greens. I kept them alive for... almost two years, I think, cutting them back almost to the soil periodically when they got straggly. They never formed bulbs, and if they tried to set flowers, I'd just trim them off to eat too.
I don't know what their temperature hardiness is. You might need to either move them in or mulch over them in winter where you are, Stormy.
Name: Stormy Valley Forge Pa I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
I snagged an unbelievable quantity of coir from Allison/Onewish at the swap on Saturday. I've got all of the bricks sitting under the overhang on my deck. It has been raining non stop ever since. I hope they don't leak and start to hydrate. .
I think it's strange that people plant in that without soil. I plan to use it like peat. I'm just too fond of my soil to do without it.
Name: Carol Noel Hawaii (near Hilo) It's all about choices.
No...I don't. I used it for my Hoyas about 5 years ago and nearly lost the whole greenhouse due to salts. Coir tends to be a salt attractant so while very thoroughly rinsed...it was being saturated from fertilizers. I think it was the type of coir...and the hoyas hated it. Also, I don't like the consistency of it...too close to peat. What I DO use is a Soil Amendment called BIG R which is really cheap ... under 9$ for 3 cubic feet ...which I mix with compost and manure for the garden. I use a lot of lava cinders (black) for drainage. We get so much rain here (150" annually) that drainage is a biggie. I know that Coir is the medium of choice for a lot of people....could be the source of it here that is the problem as opposed to the produce itself.
I do use a shot of Fish Fert/Molassas in water when I water in seedlings. I like to mulch with cardboard as the worms love to eat it and it breaks down into good organic matter...also newspapers.