Container gardening is becoming more and more popular as people appreciate the flexibility and extra growing space it provides. It’s not just about flowers either you can grow your own tasty produce right outside your door and many speciallyadapted plant varieties are now available.
But growing in containers does come with its own special challenges and if you want to succeed it’s important to plan ahead. Let us take you through the essentials. Where to site your containers is the first thing you need to consider. Most vegetable plants like lots of sun, so it’s important to choose a place which will provide 6 hours or more of direct light .
South or west facing locations are the best. Placing them as close to your house as you can will mean you have easy access to your plants great for harvesting and easy for you to take care of them. Choose a sheltered spot for your pots so your plants are kept out of cold, drying winds.
Walls, fences hedges are good locations, or try to screen the pots. Using your window ledges and balconies is a great way to get started if you don’t have a garden but make sure your pots are properly secured to prevent them from blowing off when the weather gets windy. Watering is the number one priority for containers.
As the plants won’t have access to moisture below ground. On a hot sunny day they can dry out within hours and plants might not recover from serious wilting. On hot days giving plants a thorough watering in the early morning and evening will be required, making sure that you don’t just wet the surface, but allow it to soak down to the roots.
For added convenience, drip irrigation can be installed particularly useful if you’ll be away from home during part of the summer. Containers come in all shapes, sizes colors and materials. Plastic and wood are tried and tested materials, but you can unleash your creativity just make sure they are clean and won’t leach harmful chemicals. Large pots can also be used to grow plants that aren’t native to your area for example.
They can be filled with an ericaceous soil for blueberries, which like acidic conditions. And for heat loving plants such as dwarf citrus trees, containers enable the plans to be moved to a warm conservatory or greenhouse during winter months, protecting them from the worst of the winter weather. There are plenty of options available for using vertical space too, and if you have a warm sunny wall which absorbs heat during the day.
This will radiate the warmth during the night, protecting the plants from cold snaps. It’s essential to provide good drainage. Plants are easily killed if their roots are waterlogged. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes and that they’re free from dirt or blockages Adding a shallow layer of stones or broken pottery to the base of the pot often helps to improve drainage.