pot depth question

Hi All,
Last year I HACKED a bunch of ground pots into my so called dirt. I tried to make them about 10 to 12" deep. The idea was that they would not blow over and would have some slow drainage (takes over a day to drain when I fill them with water). I then mix dirt, organic fertilizer, and peat moss back into the hole, sans the rocks. I worked.
This year I relocated the holes under the weeds and I found that the old growth that was there last year had not developed root more than about 3 to 4" deep, but width covered the hole. I placed vegi scraps on the bottom of the holes, filled them back in and added some organic fertilizer
This year I came across and six or so holes that I could only shovel, hack, swear past about 6 to 7" deep. I hit rocks of biblical proportion.
Question, should I give up on these holes as they are too shallow? Or since the plant's root did not go that deep, use them anyway?
Many thanks, -T
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On Sat, 27 May 2017 12:49:47 -0700, T wrote:

What type of plants were in these ground pots and how wide were the holes at the top? Most plants don't send very many roots deep into the soil. They send tap roots deep into the soil too help anchor them but about 75% of a plants roots grow across the soil surface to gather moisture.
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On 05/27/2017 04:14 PM, wg_2002 wrote:

Eggplant, zucchini, tomatillo
They are about 12 to 15" in diameter.
I did notice that the plants did not care for the surrounding dirt. (I would not call it soil as it has all the nutritional content of the moon.) It was like a 12" wide by 4" deep plug of tiny roots.
Which bring up the question, am I placing the vegi scraps too deep to be effective?
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T wrote: ...

do you have worms in any location when you dig? are there native worms around any place you can find some?
burying veggie scraps is better than throwing them away any time even if the plants may not get to them directly they may still be getting some nutrients indirectly (via fungi and/or worms).
feed some veggie scraps to a worm bucket and then each planting time you can mix the worm poo/pee in your soil this will also have some effect through time of getting a worm population going if your worm species can survive your soil/climate.
in order to get them to survive in a pretty harsh climate they'll need places to survive/hide from the hotter or colder times. :)
songbird
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On 05/28/2017 05:12 AM, songbird wrote:

I just bag them up and freeze vegi scraps. Then dump them frozen down the holes once a year. Some day maybe I will get into composting. But at the moment it is too much for me.
I only see a few worms here and there. None so far this year.
Last year when I had to dig up a pot, I couldn't find but one onion wrapper. That was only about a week. So something is liking the stuff.
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T wrote:

other than the things that will regrow a lot of veggie scraps can be used directly without doing much at all. potato peels are the ones i make sure are completely dry, but everything else can be buried in the garden soil without composting. consider it slow composting.
the issue is that you don't want so much that it ferments or gets hot when you've planted something in there. really though, if you only mix a few scraps in each location what they are is a very temporary water source, trace nutrients and some organic material. if there are any worms at all they'll find it.

having some is better than none. at least you aren't starting from none at all... to encourage them poke your veggie scraps in where you've seen them and make sure there's some surface mulch to keep it cooler/moist.
if the odd carrot top sprouts and grows it's not a major issue IMO. around here the rabbits keep anything like that trimmed.

could be all sorts of things, mice, beetles...
do you have dung beetles there?
songbird
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On 05/29/2017 06:27 AM, songbird wrote:

Got some type of beetle and burrows in the dirt. Doesn't look like any of the dumb beetles I see on nature shows. And they don't seem to like my plants either, so I leave them alone.
I got ants too. The larger brown and red ones. They don't like my plants either, so I don't bother them. This is weird. I can kneel down in a bunch of them to work the dirt with my hands and they scurry away and leave me alone. Nice ants. Who would have thought.
I will consider the depth of the roots I am harvesting when I consider the depth of the pots.
Thank you !
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T wrote: ...

root ball mass depends upon many factors including what type of plant it is and how it is watered.
i planted daikon radishes in various places to help drive holes through the clay. some of them i could not pull out. the deer ate the tops off all of them last winter so they rotted and provided drainage channels down the length of their root.
good for sprouts too (bigger leaves than other radishes). :) sold for a few $/lb of seeds at the grain elevator.
songbird
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On 05/28/2017 05:06 AM, songbird wrote:

how deep do my holes need to be?
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T wrote: ...

it depends upon the plant. as you've found the roots of some don't go too deep or too far.
radishes, if you are growing them for sprouts? i just rough up the surface a little and that is enough. the daikon radishes make their own holes. that's the idea behind growing them. i use the plant to bore a hole through tough soil.
tomatoes are the largest in terms of roots that i've noticed so far besides the radishes. i don't even bother to dig them up most of the time. i clip off the top a few inches below the surface and let the worms sort it out.
songbird
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