For those with limited outdoor growing space outdoors, container gardens can be a creative option to grow edible and decorative plants.
TIPS FOR CONTAINER GARDENING
- Ensure all planters have drainage holes in the bottom and drip trays below (as to not annoy your neighbours with run-off water.)
- If there are not many drainage holes, drill addition holes, and line with geotextile (landscaping fabric) to prevent soil loss.
- Choosing planters – plants will grow in so many types of containers! The trick is ensuring there is adequate room for roots and proper drainage. Wood must be treated to avoid rotting, and must be lined with pond liner to protect soil from chemicals leaching. Ensure to poke holes in fabric for drainage at the bottom.
- Containers should be at least 30 x 30 cm – small containers dry out faster than larger ones, especially once they are full of roots.
- Position pots at varying levels to maximize plants per area.
- Climbing plants will need support to climb up. You can use a variety of materials such as chicken wire, trellis or netting.
- Don`t line pots with rocks for drainage, this creates extra weight and results in roots growing down into the rock area. A better lining material is syrofoam bits. If you do line the bottom with materials, add landscaping fabric after to create a water penetrating sub-floor.
- If you don`t have a balcony, perhaps you can fit a window box! A good size is 3 feet in length and 30 cms deep and wide.
- Line box with plastic to prevent dripping on your neighbour and fill with gravel, topped by a layer of geotextile.
- Place plant containers (preferably terra cotta)into the box – easy to remove and access!
- Hanging planters are great for maximizing vertical gardening space – but be warned they require more watering attention as with many container planters.
- A good minimum size is 30 x 30 cm.
- Place above other planters to deal with drips!
- Fasten securly to deal with high winds and other friction.
- Fertilize regularly as nutrients leak out with soil.
Here are some resources to get you started!
Recycled Container Garden Projects: