Many of us live in flats or in places with little outside space for enjoyment. For a gardener like me who lives in a flat with only three square meters worth of space on the balcony, it is quite a challenge to innovate and come up with ideas to maximize the use of space so that I can grow as many plants as I like.
One of the ways I overcome that challenge is to engage in container gardening including window boxes, where I grow individual plants in fixed and enclosed spaces so as to limit the sizes and spreads they can reach. This way, I am able to grow a variety of plants without worrying too much about space.
Container gardening can be done for any type of plant which does not mind its roots being bound at a certain size. You may be able to grow flowers or even vegetables in pots or window boxes hung conveniently at window sills to receive the most amount of sunlight possible. If you group the plants properly, you can even create a small container flower garden or involve yourself in container vegetable gardening which is both easy to take care of.
What is great about container gardening is its versatility and easy maintenance. Your plants will be much easier to take care of if they are attacked by pests or diseases
However, container gardening does come with its limitations. You won’t be able to grow many fruiting plants to a state mature enough for fruits to be harvested on a consistent basis. If you’re enamored by the large commercial farms and feel like growing edible plants to be self-sustaining, this may be hard to do so. You will need to water your plants more frequently, as the smaller amount of soil doesn’t retain water well as compared with growing plants in the ground. But, if one uses pots or troughs without adequate drainage holes, that can lead to water stagnation and eventually to root rot in the plants.
I’ve learned that a great garden idea is to create your own soil mix if possible.
A good gauge will be to use 40% potting mix and 60% sand or gravel so that you will be able to control your watering better, without causing too much water retention in the pots. After all, it is much better to water your plants more frequently and have good aeration, than to have your soil hold too much water and go through the hassle of having to soak the excess water up.
Another gardening tip is to fertilize your plant regularly according to the instructions on the fertilizer package. Your container plants won’t have access to a regular source of nutrients, so going too long without feeding them will result in weak plants which won’t be able to withstand pests or diseases easily. My philosophy is that as long as your plants are healthy, the presence of some pests and diseases will not affect the plants in any bad way.
Lastly, remember to give your plants light pruning regularly to keep them compact and tidy so that your growing areas remain neat and airy to prevent fungal attacks.
In conclusion, if you live in an area where growing large plants in the ground isn’t possible, don’t despair. Simply select smaller plants which are able to grow in containers, and you will be able to create a container garden which will please you as much as growing larger plants do.