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Container Gardening

Advantages

  • Great for beginners – can be done any time and anywhere, even on a balcony or on a window sill.
  • Plants remain mobile – handy for rearranging and moving them into different micro climates.
  • Can easily be repotted for extra root space and fresh nutrients, plants will grow bigger.
  • Very little weeding to do

 

Disadvantages

  • Need to be watered manually when not raining for a few days, woodchip mulch in pots minimizes watering.
  • Will run out of nutrients at some point and pot size limits the growth of plants.

 

Now we have a very useful flower, herb and fruit container garden in our barbecue area. Whilst the flowers are nice to look at, the herbs are handy to pick fresh as needed for the cooking outdoors and even indoors in the kitchen. We have mint for tea and lemon balm as an insect repellent.

We have been doing quite a lot of container gardening over the years, mostly because we moved house twice and brought along every plant in the garden. We took all the plants out of the ground and potted them up in the winter with plenty of good soil so that they will hold a lot of water and nutrients. Just as well because some of them had to remain in pots for over a year and they are doing fine.

This picture is from just after our last and final house move, 10 car trailers or 1200 plants. The majority have been planted out into our gardens and the remainder was moved to our little nursery.

Smaller plants like strawberries and kitchen herbs can be kept in smaller pots (2 liters)

Woody plants like marshmallow flowers or red currants prefer medium (10 liters) to large pots (25 liters), however in these they will grow for years without starving.

Multiple plants can be planted in one medium to large container, these will form a plant guild known as polyculture working in cooperation once chosen correctly. (Toby Hemenway has some great material on this on youtube)

 

Repotting Plants and Mulching Potted Plants – Video