Space-saving gardening in containers (Google / Neighborhood Notes)

Read at : Google Alert – container gardening

http://www.neighborhoodnotes.com/news/2011/05/container_and_vertical_gardening_with_edibles/

Container and Vertical Gardening With Edibles

Container gardening makes use of the most minimal of spaces.

By Michelle Anderson

It’s that time of year in Portland again when folks in mud-caked boots appear with hoe in hand, coaxing the fragile starts of their favorite fruits and veggies to take root. Huffing and puffing in their yard, or in one of the 35 community gardens located throughout Portland, urban farmers faithfully carve precious time in their schedule and brave the elements in the hopes of bringing a bounty of healthy eats home to enjoy.

But there’s an easier way to enjoy the fruits of hard labor: Container gardening! Need convincing? Here are some reasons you should give space-saving gardening a try:

  • No need to plan around Portland’s unpredictable weather and your busy schedule.
  • Growing plants makes you feel better! Research shows that some indoor plants clean the air of toxins and that tending a garden can lower blood pressure, increase attentiveness and reduce overall stress.
  • Container gardening makes use of the most minimal of indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • You’ll have a year-round supply of your favorite fruits and vegetables, regardless of your geographic location.
  • Indoor edible gardens are safe from nature’s scavengers, such as raccoons, opossums and deer.
  • No more (or greatly reduced) need to stay on top of weed growth.

Almost any object can be used for container gardening: the black plastic pots that plants come home in, pots purchased from garden supply stores, wooden barrels, and even toddler swimming pools. But these solutions aren’t ideal for the health of your plant’s roots because of inadequate drainage and the possibility of containers deteriorating and leeching chemicals and wood rot into the soil.

A better option for sowing a sustainable, low-maintenance, container garden is to use breathable, flexible fabric pots and pouches made from recycled materials. These kinds of containers are good for year-round use and provide superior plant insulation by protecting plants from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. Cloth containers are sturdy enough to hold a variety of types and sizes of plants, are lightweight and easy to move, and can be attached to or placed on most surfaces to create an edible jungle just about anywhere.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.