Safe Containers for Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is also an environmentally safe means to grow vegetables, fruits, fruits and other crops. You can safely grow plants in a variety of containers, so long as you follow the principles of organic gardening. This involves knowing the history of your containers and choosing materials that will not leach toxic substances into the soil.

Organic Gardening Principles

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic gardening boosts natural development with no additives or substances. A main goal of organic gardening is to optimize the health of both the plants and the individuals consuming them, but in addition, it promotes the use of renewable energy resources that preserve soil, water and energy to enhance the quality of the environment. Although it isn’t always possible to get rid of inorganic chemicals and pesticides from the landscape, natural gardeners may prevent these toxins from contaminating plants when utilizing containers. Safe container gardening means doing whatever you can to avoid using containers which may contain chemicals which could leach into your plants throughout the soil.

Reusing or Repurposing Containers

Organic gardeners reuse containers made of a variety of substances, including plastic, stone, metal or wood, but a secure container is one with a known past life. This means if you’re salvaging a container from a garage sale, you need to find out if it might have been in contact with substances such as herbicides or fungicides. If the container might have held anything else that might be poisonous, it is not safe to use as an organic gardening container. If you cannot determine the container’s history, then it is wise not to use it whatsoever.

Natural Stone and Concrete

Natural stone containers, such as clay or terracotta are an appealing and secure option for natural gardening. But stone containers are fragile, so they might not be as durable outside as wood or plastic containers. Concrete is a long-lasting and secure container material, but it may be heavy, so it is not excellent for plants you’ll need to move about. Natural stone and concrete containers tend to dry out more rapidly than containers made from wood or plastic, so plants in these containers might require more frequent watering.


Recycled plastic containers are lightweight and durable, and they contribute to a healthier environment. Plastic is also inexpensive and available in a variety of colours, sizes and shapes. To ascertain whether a container is made of recycled plastic, search for the recycling symbol on the base of the container. Pay special attention to the recycle numbers on the container, which may tell you whether the plastic used has a high or low risk of leaching substances. Prevent plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7. The number 3 refers to plastic or PVC (polyvinylchloride). PVC contains chlorine and also can release harmful dioxins. The number 6 indicates the container contains polystyrene, which may leach potential toxins. The number 7 refers to a variety of plastic resins which don’t fit into the previous categories. Polycarbonate is one of these plastics, which contains hormone disrupters.


Untreated natural wood, such as cedar, redwood or teak, is a natural and secure option for an organic gardening container that is appealing in almost any landscape. Wood containers are available commercially or you could create your own, but the secret to a protected wood container is in the additives and preservatives. Containers which utilize pressure-treated or stained hardwood include chemicals, making them a dangerous option. Natural teak, cedar or redwood containers which have not been stained or sealed using any poisonous substances are an organically protected alternative.

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