Planters of all shapes and sizes can house edible gardens on condo decks.
File / Calgary Herald
by Andrea Cox
But the art of gardening is not just for those with backyards. The options are endless for the condo or townhome dweller. Just think containers.
“Almost anything will work as long as it doesn’t have some kind of noxious finish on it,” says gardening expert Sharon McCormick, founder of Poppy Innovations, an organization that strives to create healthy communities through edible gardening and cooking.
“It could be a pot or a pair of rubber boots,” she adds, noting that the most important thing to look for in a container is appropriate drainage.
She suggests focusing on planting edibles from herbs to veggies and greens.
“Having lots of containers filled with edible goodies just brightens up your day, as well as promotes healthy eating,” says McCormick.
Definitely the eyes feast first, so making your container aesthetically appealing should be top of mind.
If you have images of lush greenery, juicy tomatoes, butterflies and hummingbirds, but your small or nonexistent yard doesn’t allow for it, a container garden may be the answer.
From pots big enough to hold trees, to rooting a plant in a cup of water, every home can have a touch of greenery without committing to a large-scale garden.
Master Gardener Ruth Milhauser said a lot of container gardening comes down to how much sun is available, the size of the container and how often you’re willing to water.
“Think about how much time you have to water. You want to make sure that the pot is big enough that you don’t have to water it multiple times a day in the summer,” Milhauser said. “The smaller the pot the less moisture you have.”
When buying plants, whether in a seed package or a seedling, she said to do some research before and at the store. Check plant tags for clues on sun and space requirements. Many are marked specifically as container varieties with names such as “dwarf” or “patio.” Drought resistant plants also can be a good pick because they need less watering.
“You have to know go into it knowing that it’s a little bit of an experiment, but it’s fun to do that,” Milhauser said.
Not all the great gardening these days goes on in flower beds and vegetable gardens. A lot of it is done in containers – the large pots, half-barrels, boxes and baskets that add so much to steps, porches, balconies and patios.
This is small-scale gardening with flair that almost everyone can enjoy, even the landless.
And thanks to a wealth of choices, you can make a container garden that reflects your own taste in flowers, their color, texture and shape.
Garden centers are filled these days with thousands of small, inexpensive annual plants that you can put together easily.
Vegetables and herbs can be grown easily in buckets. Notice the drainage hole in the sidewall, saving some water (not drained through a hole in the bottom). See also the layer of coarse sand on top (mulch), which is limiting evaporation (Willem Van Cotthem’s comment)
Gardening in a Bucket
Growing wholesome, healthy vegetables in a container are a way of life these days. Here are some easy and less expensive tips for creating that bucket garden.
In a large container or on a plastic mat on the ground, mix garden soil and compost in a 2:1 ratio. Two scoops of soil and one of compost, add the recommended quantity of slow release fertilizer from product label
Drill 6 to 8- ½ inch holes in the bottom of the 5-gallon buckets. Make sure that the buckets did not contain toxic materials!
Line the bottom of the bucket with gravel. You may substitute broken pottery or sticks that are broken in short links
Fill the bucket to within 3 inches of the top of the container
Place container in sunny spot that will allow drainage
Plant chosen vegetable with two seeds in center of the container
There are several reasons why you need build your own herb garden plans. First reason, You can feeling convenience of having fresh herbs on hand when you need them. Second reason, fresh ingredients have added flavor and potency. Here are tips to build your own herb garden plans.
Brighten up your patio, deck or front entrance with containers. They’re an excellent way to add color, fragrance and beauty where plantable space is limited or nonexistent.
Set a few containers on the front or back steps, in the corner of your deck or any location where they can be enjoyed. Try stacking and planting several containers to create a display with greater vertical interest. Check the views when looking from inside the house as well as when outdoors. Strategically place containers to be spotted from frequently used windows.
Save even more space by using railing planters. You can dress up the porch or deck by filling these planters with colorful flowers and edibles. Carefully inspect a product to make sure it is sturdy and will be easily installed given your property’s specifics. Reduce time spent installing and maintaining with easy-to-install self-watering rail planters, like Viva balcony rail planters from gardeners.com or metal English troughs at Home Depot and other local retailers.
Don’t limit yourself to flowers. Mix in a few edibles to bring some homegrown flavor to outdoor entertaining. You and your guests will enjoy plucking a few mint leaves for beverages, basil to top a slice of pizza or a sprig of dill for just-grilled fish.
In most cases, the rootball of seedlings is severely damaged at transplantation. Grown in more or less ideal conditions in classical plastic bags in a nursery, they are transported to the field, where the bags are cut open and the rootball roughly handled, whereby almost all the fine absorbing roots are broken. When seedlings are grown in plastic bottles or pots, this damage is avoided. Young saplings show a survival rate of almost 100 %. A few examples to show details of this method.