Container Gardening 101: a More Nutritious Eating, Good Exercise and Great Fun
Having pots with flowers is great for adding a little beauty to your surrounding, but gardening can also serve a practical purpose if you plant edibles. Even if you don’t have a place to dig your garden you can still grow your own food. You will be surprised of the amount of edibles you can grow in containers that you can place on your porch, balcony, patio and even indoors.
Container gardening is rapidly growing in popularity, especially with the increasing number of compact dwarf varieties of vegetables intended to grow in small spaces. Combine them with the latest self watering white plastic planters, and you got yourself a sustainable source for fresh food.
The best thing about container gardening is that it is way easier to control the soil, fertilizer, light, and water. You can successfully grow almost any vegetable, herb, shrub, or small tree in a container and here are some tips on how to do that.
One of the greatest challenges with container gardening is watering since soil dries much faster in pots than the ground. This is why self watering white plastic planters are the perfect solution. The way these self watering containers are designed with a reservoir beneath the soil which is topped with a grid, allowing the roots of the plants to reach down to the water. Although with these planters you still have to keep the reservoir filled, they don’t require nearly as much watering as regular planters. Keep in mind that in hot climates, mature plants will empty that reservoir very fast so you may have to fill it on a daily basis. But, of course, you can always install an automatic irrigation system and totally forget about watering.
It is always good to spread mulch over the soil just as you would do with a garden. This keeps the moisture evaporating from the soil. Also planters with light colours such as white, help maintain the right temperature of the soil. In order to ensure that enough sunlight reaches your plants, you can always place a trolley under your containers and move them around to follow the sun. For example, during the day you can position them for maximum sunlight, while in the evening you just scoot them out of the way if you want to sit on your patio, balcony and so on.
As I said, you can grow anything in containers, however, I would suggest you start with some herbs and see how it goes. They are very easy to grow, even for beginners, and they will add a fresh taste to almost any meal. If you want to grow vegetables, baby greens such as spinach and lettuce are the easiest to grow. Just sow the seeds right in the soil and in just a few weeks they will reach harvest size. Then you can just snip the big leaves and keep your harvest going for several weeks. After that you just plant new ones.
If you want a bigger challenge, you can try tomatoes, but be ready for some more work. Go for a variety that is suitable for small gardens such as cherry tomatoes. The self watering planters are perfect for them, because they even out the fertilizer and water. Provide some support for the plant, like a cage or stakes since the fruits can get pretty heavy.
You don’t really need to be Dr. Greenthumb to grow your own veggies. Anyone with a pair of hands can do it and the rewarding feeling you get when you actually see the fruits of your labour is priceless.