Celebrating and conserving the ecological richness of California's grasslands

Quick Tip for Grasslands: "No Budget" Nursery Containers

Excerpted from: Wade Belew, 2011. Grasslands 21 (1): 3

One gallon grasses can be split with a shovel for planting, but that can be hard to do and even dangerous trying to slice a round object in half. It is also hard on the plant, severing roots and all. So I came up with this idea to divide up the one-gallon pot into smaller compartments. I took pieces of cardboard and cut two that could slip together and inside the one -gallon pot to create a divider that made four compartments (like inside a wine case). Like the more desirable restoration containers , the compartments are tall and narrow, encouraging vertical root development, instead of the swirling roots typical in a round pot. 

The four compartments can be filled with soil and planted with seed as you would any other container. If you have used cardboard for sheet-mulch week control you know it will last about six months or so before starting to break down. When the time comes to plant out, the four quarters separate easily when they slide out of the pot. YOu end up with four plants instead of one, and the holes don't have to be dug as big as they would for a full one-gallon pot. 

This is a great project to do with volunteer or student help and shows a reuse/recycle example. 

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