Homegrown: Container Gardening

Here’s a post for you apartment, townhouse and tiny house dwellers. Yes, you can grow fresh veggies and herbs, even in tiny spaces. All you need is sunlight, soil, and the right container. (Yup, there is such a thing as the wrong container!)

Bigger containers, in general, work better than smaller ones. Plants won’t get rootbound as quickly, and you won’t have to water as often. Choose containers that suit the space you have, whether it’s a balcony, a small side yard, or a sunny windowsill.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Containers come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s what they’re made of that’s more important. Glazed pottery containers are durable, easy to keep clean, and come in a variety of beautiful colors, but they tend to be expensive and can get heavy once you add soil and plants. Some of them won’t hold up to really cold temperatures either.

Plastic pots are generally inexpensive, though not as pretty as their glazed cousins. They are lightweight and generally durable, though be careful moving them when they are full or in really cold weather, as the plastic becomes brittle and may crack. Plastic pots hold moisture well and don’t allow it to evaporate through the sides of the pot, though dark-colored plastic pots can be problematic in warm, sunny climates as they absorb heat and may damage roots at the edge of the rootball.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Terra cotta pots are inexpensive and pretty, but they can also be tough on plants. They are porous, so water easily evaporates from these pots, robbing your plants of moisture. You may need to water twice a day if you use these pots in a warm, sunny climate.

Wood containers are pretty, but they often don’t last when exposed to water and sunlight. If you want to use these, use a plastic pot as a liner on the inside; this will keep the wood from touching the soil and being wet constantly, which leads to decay.