Do you love the idea of growing fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers right in your own backyard but unfortunately just don't have the space? Don't worry; plant a container garden instead!
A container garden can fit almost anywhere! A few planters on a deck, patio, terrace or even hooked onto a Juliet balcony will suffice. Satisfy your green thumb with these ideas.
The right planter
While almost any container will do, here are some things to consider:
- Plastic containers are cost-effective but aren't durable, as they tend to deteriorate in the sun. On a positive note, the lighter weight of the plastic makes them easy to move around.
- Terracotta planters have a timeless appeal and are readily available. However, they tend to dry out quickly, which means you may have to water the plants more often.
- Glazed ceramic pots can be a costly option, but they are available in almost any colour and style to suit your outdoor decor.
- Instead of using a standard pot, try out other options. Wheelbarrows, half a wine barrel, watering cans, wooden buckets, metal tins and teapots are all fun ideas.
- Consider your outdoor decor, available space and what you will be planting when deciding on the containers to use. Most vegetables will need the room of a large container to thrive, flowers can be grown in almost any size planter and small bunches of herbs can handle smaller or medium-size pots.
- Whether they're old, new, recycled or reinvented, be sure to wash out all containers prior to use.
- Avoid using pressure-treated or chemically treated wood as a planter for vegetables or fruit, as the chemicals may leach into the food. The same thing applies for buckets or containers that have previously stored chemicals or waste.
- Ensure the container you will be using as a planter has adequate drainage. Most planters will have drainage holes, but if not, you will have to drill out several small holes from the bottom.
- Use a drainage saucer if possible so your deck or other space won't be damaged by water runoff.
- Plan out your space. Some plants will require more sun or shade than others, so read the instructions on the seed packets or the plant information sheet to ensure a healthy crop of plants, then design your space accordingly.
- Plant the seeds or plants in your containers according to the directions outlined on either the seed packet or the info sheet supplied with an existing plant.
- Some great edibles to plant are lettuce, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, green onions and herbs.
- Most annual flower varieties will grow well in pots for the season.
A couple of other suggestions
- To help make the relocation of plants easier, purchase a few wheeled platforms to use, or make your own from an appropriate sized square piece of plywood and four casters attached to the bottom. Stain or paint if desired.
- Once your container garden is under way, remember to fertilize, water often, prune off dead leaves and be aware of the placement to the sun.
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