Using polystyrene worms in containers

Hi all!  I was wondering if I could use those squashy polystyrene worm shapes that are used for packaging, in the bottom of a deep container so that I don't need to put so much compost in it.  The pot is 50cms wide at the top and it is 41cms high.  I'm planning on putting a wigwam of 3 or 4 canes in it and growing runner beans and a few sweet peas for pollinators.  Do you think those plants will need a full pot of compost, or could I put a layer of polystyrene worms in the bottom?  I don't want them to affect the drainage or have an adverse effect on the beans!


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,473

    Hi happycottontail, yes you can use them at the bottom of a pot to provide drainage, but I don't think it's a good idea in this case as runners in pots can easily be blown over by the wind, so you are better off using something heavy at the bottom such as pea-shingle etc.  Polystyrene is fine in the bottom of pots/tubs containing summer bedding and other shallow-rooted plants though.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks Bob, that makes sense.  I'll use pea gravel for stability.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    They will drive you mad when you empty the pots into the compost and you have to pick them out.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,930

    Hi, happycottontail, 

    You can also use stones from your garden in the bottom of your pots to stop them blowing over. 

    Don't disregard polystyrene though, not sure how big  polystyrene worms are but I use  polystyrene packaging broken down to hand size potions in the bottom of my spud grow bags so they can be picked up and moved.

    You may find a use for your wormsimage

    Happy gardening.  

  • Before using them, drop one into a container of water.  Some of them are cellulose-based, and will dissolve completely in water, so would be worse than useless.  If you have that type, best place for them is the bin.

    I use broken up bits of polystyrene in the bottom of very large containers with no ill effects on my lilies.

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