Container and vertical gardening
Container and vertical gardens are two fantastic ways to manage to have your favourite fruits, vegetables and herbs in a small space and yield produce as if you had a large space.
Container gardening is the perfect way to teach your kids how to care for and nurture a garden cultivating curiosity as well as building confidence. Maybe you live in an apartment or location without a lot of green space or room to grow the large garden that you imagined. That doesn’t mean that you have to give up on growing your own garden.
Container gardening is a great alternative to traditional gardens. They are one of the simplest ways to grow your own plants and they don’t require much space. They can easily be placed on a patio or balcony or just outside on a porch.
To start, choose a light-coloured pot that is large enough to allow your plant to grow.
The roots will be bigger than you think so make sure to give lots of space. Plants that become root-bound will not continue to grow. Before you fill the pot, make sure there is a way for water to get out, allowing for drainage so your plants don’t get too wet and die. This can be done by drilling a few small holes in the bottom of your planter to allow excess water to get out.
When preparing your container
Before you can plant, you will need to choose a good potting soil for the container- if you are using soil from your garden, be aware plain garden soil is too dense for container gardening and will likely contain more weeds. For containers up one gallon in size, use a houseplant soil mixture. For larger containers, use a relatively coarse soilless planting mixture to maintain the needed water and air balance. Pre-moisten soil either by watering it before you fill the container or after you have filled the container with soil by flooding it with water several times and stirring. Be sure the soil is uniformly moist before planting.
When it comes to deciding which plants to put into your containers, almost any vegetable, herb, or flower can be grown. Make sure to consider how much sun or shade the container will receive.
Bush beans, green beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, greens leafy vegetables like spinach) carrots., onions, garlic, potatoes (Irish and sweet) yams and many herbs. And thanks to hardworking breeders, we have so many dwarf variety of fruit trees such as citruses, pawpaw
(papaya) avocados, mango, guava and more.
Containers can dry out more easily than other types of gardens, so be sure to keep an eye on how much water it is getting or needs daily. Container garden plants need regular feeding. Fertilize them by watering with diluted fish emulsion, seaweed extract, or compost tea. Start by feeding once every two weeks and adjust the frequency depending on how your plant responds.
Limited on space? Try using the Vertical Garden Method.
Vertical gardening with an upright structure can be a boon for apartment dwellers, small-space urban gardeners and disabled gardeners as well as for gardens with large traditional spaces.
A vertical garden is one that grows upward (vertically) using a trellis or other support system, rather than on the ground (horizontally). Anything grown on a trellis or even a fence is technically part of a vertical garden.
When starting a vertical garden, be sure to anchor your vertical gardening structure in place before planting so the roots or stems are not disturbed. Pair heavy or more demanding plants with sturdier structures. Plan where you will place your garden carefully, as tall plants or structures cast shadows on the vertical garden that can affect the growth patterns of nearby plants. Grow differently in a vertical garden. Some need to be physically attached to structures, while others are twining and will loop themselves around trellis opening. Plants grown in a vertical garden might need more frequent watering and fertilizing because they’re exposed to more light and wind than in a traditional garden.
Advantages of Vertical Gardening
Climbing in Popularity
There’s no denying that vertical gardens are growing in popularity, for several good reasons. Among them:
They take up less space, especially when the yard, patio, or balcony lacks space.
They provide instant privacy and can disguise an ugly wall or block an unsightly view.
They allow people to start or continue gardening in small spaces that usually wouldn’t accommodate a regular-sized bed.
If well designed and maintained, they can be a garden focal point.
They are an environmental choice. Many vertical planters and wall systems are designed from recycled or repurposed materials.
Vertical gardens are often grown and thrive via a hydroponic system—basically a soil-free alternative.
Provide an opportunity to grow vegetables, fruit, and herbs in a small, urban space.
Reinvigorate plain exteriors with greenery.
Create more gardening opportunities and accessibility for people with disabilities.
As you can see, gardens can be grown I a variety of ways based on the space you have available. Be creative and enjoy getting in the dirt no matter where you are!
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.