Container gardening is a gardening method to exclusively grow plants in containers instead of planting them in the ground. Traditionally, terracotta pots were commonly used but today more of plastic, window boxes, raised bed, and many more varieties are seen. Small Container Gardening pots are usually called flowerpots. Growing plants in flowerpots is mostly used for ornamental purposes.
Why Container Gardening?
- It is generally used in areas where the soil or climate is inappropriate for the plant or crop to grow.
- Container Gardening is best option for houseplants.
- It is appealing to gardeners for homes with limited growing space or paved flooring.
Advantages of Container Gardening – Container gardening for vegetables
There are lot many plants that are suitable for container gardening. Container gardening ideas for flowers and vegetables include plants such as decorative flowers, herbs, cacti, fruits, vegetables, and small trees can be grown in containers. There exist many advantages to grow plants in containers that are:
- The plants are at less risk to the soil-borne diseases.
- It virtually helps to eliminate weed problems.
- Offers mobility of plants, allowing you with more control over moisture, sunlight & temperature for plants.
Choosing Containers – Container gardening designs
The Pots and planters come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and styles. You can also use everyday containers such as bowls or barrels to be planters. The size and drainage in the pots or planters are important factor to consider.
The Large containers are easy to grow plants than smaller ones. This is because large containers holds soil so they stay moist for longer and plant is at less risk to any rapid temperature fluctuations. As against the small hanging baskets can easily dry up during hot summers and would require watering them twice. Size of container should be determined considering the size and shape of the plants root system. Also, using light-colored containers will keep the soil cooler compared to darker ones.
Drainage holes are essential in whatever container you select. Without drainage, soil will become waterlogged and risk of plant death increases. The holes should be just big enough to drain out excessive water. If your container does not have holes, then try drilling some on your own. Small pots can have one half an inch holes and larger one needs one inch hole.
Containers are made using varied types of material. Each type of container material has separate merits and demerits:
1. Clay or terra-cotta containers – These are attractive but gets easily cracked, breakable or damaged by freezing.
2. Cast concrete container – This is one of the most appropriate for container gardening as they are long-lasting and comes in a range of sizes and styles. Leave it outside in all weather and it won’t get damaged. Concrete mixed with vermiculite or perlite, or concrete and fiberglass blends are much lighter compared to Plain concrete containers that are heavy.
3. Plastic and fiberglass pots – These are lightweight, inexpensive, and available in several sizes and shapes.
4. Polyurethane foam containers – The Containers made using this material weigh up to 90 percent less than terra cotta or concrete containers. They resist damaging or cracking and can also insulate roots against both hot and cold temperatures.
5. Wood-fiber containers – Wood looks natural and protects plant roots from rapid temperature changes. You can also build wooden planters yourself using rot-resistant wood such as cedar, locust, or pine treated with a nontoxic preservative. Molded readymade wood-fiber containers are sturdy and also inexpensive.
6. Metal containers – These are strong but conduct heat exposing plant roots to rapid temperature fluctuations. Metal pots lined with plastic can be used to grow edibles.
You can grow a variety of plants including fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs and shrubs in container gardening. Enjoy watching colorful plants growing in container gardens for one season or design them to last for years.