Photo by Sarah Cady
I was flipping through my copy of Sugar Snaps & Strawberries last night, and rediscovered a great section with tips on container gardening on balconies and patios. If you remember from my previous review, Sugar Snaps & Strawberries is an awesome guide to growing your own food in urban spaces. Andrea shares all sorts of ideas, from guerilla gardening to raised beds, and everything in between.
Here are Andrea’s tips for picking the right container:
- “Containers are water hogs” - Andrea suggests buying a pot that is a size or two larger than you think you’ll need, and I totally agree. The smaller the pot, the more often you’ll have to water during the summer. When I was refreshing my balcony garden this weekend, I got rid of most of my small pots, and brought in a few new, larger ones for exactly this reason.
- “Bad drainage rots roots” – Andrea is not a fan of plant saucers or pots without drainage holes at all. And for good reason. They both trap water in a pot, which can lead to rotting roots. Andrea suggests using pot feet to raise your pot off the ground and allow water to drain away.
- “Container size limits plant size” – A lot of people don’t realize that there is a correlation between the size of plant you can see above ground, and the root system that you can’t see below ground. Andrea asks gardeners to be kind to their trees and larger plants by giving them a pot that gives their roots room to grow.
- “Not all containers are created equal” – Andrea advises investing in better quality containers that can withstand the weather in your area. It may seem cheaper to buy an inexpensive pot, but if it cracks the first time you have a hard freeze/thaw and you have to replace it, the pot wasn’t that cheap after all.
Have your own tips for picking a great pot? Share them in the comments!