No Ground? Container Gardening Makes Growing Your Own Food Possible
Let’s face it. The cost of food is rising every day and despite tightening your belt, you have less money to spend on fresh vegetables. Most people rely on unhealthy junks instead of preparing a home-cooked meal. Now, if you want a healthier choice, growing your own food is quite an interesting idea. This will reduce your food expenses; hence you’ll get nutritious food right in your own backyard.
This sounds great if you are living in a farm or you own a large garden. However, home gardening seems not feasible if you’re in a crammed city and you only view a brickwork jungle of the city spread when you look out of the window. Is it still possible to grow your own food within a limited space? Of course! Container gardening is one of the small-space-oriented gardening styles that makes growing your own veggies, fruits, herbs, or flowers possible. Now, small spaces like window ledges, balconies, courtyard gardens or patio can boast high yielding crops!
Benefits of Container Gardening
1.Safer, more nutritious and cheaper food. Apart from enjoying a rewarding hobby, container gardening provides healthier food. You do not have to depend on supermarkets so much so can save a lot of money. Plus you can be sure that you fresh fruits and veggies are not laced with harmful chemicals and pesticides since you know the history of your food.
2.Move plant position easily. You may use containers such as old barrels, pans, pots, old/leaky kettles, buckets, and light materials like cookie tins and coke bottles cut in half, as long as they can hold soil and have good drainage. So if there is unexpected frost in your area or your plants do not appear happy in their present position, then you can easily move them indoors or to a better location.
3.Good for both indoors and outdoors. Living in a high-rise building or apartment with no garden-like area is not a problem. Container gardening can be done indoors where natural light shines for a few hours a day. If there’s no well-lit area in your house, grow shade-loving plants instead.
Rules for a Successful Crop
- Container gardening has 5 basic requirements: a growing medium, seeds, feeds, sunlight and water. The first three will depend on your budget and preferences but make sure not to scrimp on these items. Choose premium quality soil or compost and seeds. Using F1 Hybrid (supermarket-purchased fruits and vegetables) only gives one-time high yielding crop.
- Good drainage is required. Puncture drainage holes at the bottom of containers will prevent you plants from drowning. But if your containers are indoors, place a tray underneath them to save your rug or carpet.
- Growing container plants or herbs needs extra pampering. Water them every day, especially the vegetables. Turn-over the soil properly at the start of each planting cycle. If possible, sterilize the soil before using, or replace it completely. Remove old roots before sowing your new crop. This will prevent soil compacting which gives higher yields in the future.
- Avoid overcrowding the plants, or you will get a poor crop. Make sure to use a suitable pot size for each plant and do not overfill a pot with plants.
- Sun’s UV rays can make pots go brittle. Buying cheap, low-quality plastic containers has its downside. Overtime, you may notice some cracks on the containers caused by prolonged sun exposure. The safer bet is probably to go for buckets with slight rubbery content since they do not dry-out as much.