Using Soil : How to Plant in Large Containers Using Less Potting Soil

You can plant in large containers using less potting soil by filling out the extra space inside the containers with Styrofoam packing peanuts or scraps. Learn how to do this, while leaving enough room for roots to grow, in this free video on using soil.

Expert: Rick Feldman
Bio: Rick Feldman, founder and owner of Gardens by Rick in Los Angeles, California, provides a wide array of landscaping and gardening services.
Filmmaker: John Baldino

Series Description: Growing the perfect garden means using the perfect soil for the specific plants you want to raise, taking drainage, pH balance, nutrient levels and other factors into account. Get helpful soil tips from a professional landscaper in this free video series.


  1. every human who knows about the toxicity of styrofoam, is recoiling at your use of this. Hope you warned about not growing edible plants🙄🙄🙈🙈🙈🤣🤣🤣❤️

  2. nononooooo do not use peanuts….they are a mess for the environment…. Use pieces of wood, yard clippings, leaves, hay…but not plastic nor peanuts…plus those peanuts are made with petroleum components and that is not good for the soil, plants nor humans

  3. I bought 4 pool noodles and cut them into pieces. This will save me a ton of money on potting soil. Thanks!!

  4. Claudia Jordan, your comment would have applied if the newcomers to America had treated the Native Americans as you suggested, but instead, they killed them and put them on reservations to this day.

  5. It is ok to use styrofoam peanuts but it has to be the green color peanuts that is compost-able. After one or two years it foams at the base of the pot will form a compressed layer.

  6. Another saving space idea is using empty plastic coke or any plastic containers in bottom of concrete planter. Make sure that water can drain out between bottles and out drainage holes at bottom of concrete container pot. Saves on soil and potting mix. Here in North Island of New Zealand we don't have to worry about taking out plants in the Fall. Landscapers cloth (or any very porous cloth) over the plastic bottles would be a good idea if transferring plants out. Of course you wouldn't do this method (with plastic bottles ) if you are planting vegetables or fruit trees. Its just a suggestion that worked for me. We planted up two massive old concrete cow water troughs. After making drainage holes in them we got rid of plastic bottles and numerous pairs of kids jandals in the bottom of the troughs before filling up with topsoil. It worked a treat!

  7. i always use landscape fabric over the peanuts for two reasons. One, the soil will continually filter down through the peanuts. second, when you go to empty the pots in the fall, its a mess. with fabric, you pull the rootball out and can save the peanuts.

  8. All u have to do is put a plant pot inside that fits inside the rim, that's what I do with mine, works fine!

  9. Make sure ur soil is organic! That's important now put it on this plastic shit n grow ur plants in in????

  10. A safer, less toxic more organic solution would be to use chips of moringa or bamboo stalks, or sunflower seed, peanut or other nut shells.

  11. Awesome idea. Soil get expensive. Exspecially when you have huge pots and lots of them. Thanks for sharing !

  12. Hi Rick.. the big tall planters usually don't have drainage holes. Will the peanuts act as a drainage system?

  13. I actually have used peanuts alot. In addition I have use empty plastic water and soda bottles along with plastic milk jugs to the same effect in large planters.

  14. This is the stupidest idea EVER. Why in the world would anyone put styrofoam near their plants. Shit is TOXIC. duh.

  15. Yea, always important to use organic potting soil, before you plant your veggies over a bed of toxic Styrofoam!

  16. Martha Stewart had a video where she uses Landscapers cloth OVER the packing peanuts to keep it separate from the soil, to allow for proper drainage.

  17. Listen to this guy at your own risk……. And so, The American Indian said……..
    "Don't trust white man. White man is destroyer of worlds. He not come from here. He come from other earth which is now dead. He come in big flying machine looking for place to live and do the same evil things here. Not trust white man. He is cancer to planet and poison to everything that breath. We not want his technology." – Chief Sitting Bull.

  18. I was told if you use styrofoam it will break down and the chemicals get into the roots and Kills your plants

  19. Ah looks great..except when you water the soil and the packing peanuts all float to the surface in your soil… ugh.

  20. Also you can save some soil by putting it into the pot and not dumping it on the ground by being sloppy with it.

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