One of the types of gardening that has gained popularity through time is the use of containers to plant various crops. This practice evolved as a way to cope with limitations on space and vacant lots in the urban areas. With container gardening, anyone can grow vegetables, ornamentals, herbs, and even dwarf trees on their deck, patio, balconies, driveways, and rooftops.
Although container gardening may seem convenient, you must know that it involves a somewhat tedious process. Container gardens have a limited amount of growing media, so you have to invest time in maintaining soil health to ensure that your plants grow well.
To establish your own container garden, here are important processes that you must undertake.
Choose the Containers
The good thing about container gardening is that you can be as creative as you can be in choosing containers. You can recycle items such as used plastic bottles, kettles, buckets, milk jugs, wooden boxes, etc. As long as the container holds enough soil and has holes at the bottom for good drainage, it can be used for planting your crops.
Some even go as far as painting their containers so it would even look extra creative.
Prepare the Potting Mix
Unlike in-ground gardening, container gardens require a different kind of medium. This is what we call potting mix – a growing medium that is enhanced with soil amendments for improved structure, texture, weight, and fertility. They can be soil-based or soilless depending on your preference.
There are commercially available potting mixes that you can purchase in garden stores. You can readily use them in your plants. However, you also have the option to do it yourself.
The common amendments that you can use are perlite, vermiculite, compost or manure, and coco coir or peat. You can purchase some of these materials here at LGC in varying sizes as follows:
Vitax Perlite 10 Litres or Vitax Perlite 20 Litres
Vitax Vermiculite 10 Litres
Plant Chocolate – Organic Compost 25 kg or Plant Chocolate – Organic Compost 10 kg
Pick a Location
In establishing a container garden, you must select the best location. Make sure it has enough exposure to sunlight. Position your plants strategically. Sun-loving plants should be placed in southern or western locations because they’re the sunniest and brightest. Eastern and northern locations are suitable for cool-season crops because they are shadier and cooler.
Also, consider the proximity of the water supply. Container gardens would require more frequent watering.
Plan Your Crops
To make the most of your planting, you have to carefully plan which crops to plant. Remember, you have limited space for your garden so you have to utilize the area. Tomato, pepper, eggplant, and squash are warm-season plants so plant them when the weather is warm. Whereas, lettuce, spinach, and Asian greens are cool-season plants. There are crops that you can plant all-year-round.
You should incorporate a variety of crops in your garden. Combine vegetables with herbs and spices. You may also add edible and ornamental flowersfor a more aesthetically pleasing garden.
Once all the other considerations have been met, you’re all set to start your own container garden. If you’re a newbie gardener, make sure to read this article to help you with your gardening journey.