A new hobby that has attracted a lot of apartment and townhouse dwellers is gaining popularity. This is growing vegetables in containers. This method of gardening is the solution to gardening enthusiasts’ query on how to grow vegetables given a very limited space. The balcony, patio, al fresco, and a sunny corner in the dining or living rooms are potential locations of the vegetable plants.
Aside from being able to plant within a limited space, growing vegetables in containers offer more other advantages.
• You can make the vegetables a part of the indoor decoration especially when you personalize the containers.
• You can easily arrange the plants as the containers are portable or moveable.
• The control of the spread of plant diseases is easier.
• Choosing organic indoor gardening, your plants act as air purifier.
• You have an immediate supply of fresh vegetables.
• You do not need to repair your lawns when your plants are not suitable.
When you are growing vegetables in containers, there are golden rules to follow regarding soil, types and location of containers, water and fertilizers.
Soil type needed when growing vegetables in containers
Soil is the foundation of the vegetable plants’ healthy growth. When vegetables are planted in containers, you should never use heavy potting soil. Even ordinary garden soil may not be suitable. You need to plant them in soil with good container mix; the soil must be able to retain moisture and prevent compaction. There are good soil mix that are available for sale in nurseries but you can make your own by adding compost with manure to the garden soil. Furthermore, in selecting the soil, you should also be careful in picking the type of vegetable to be planted in it. Potatoes and carrots for instance have different soil requirements. Potatoes grow healthier with loamy soil while carrots are better grown in sandy and free-draining amended soil.
Type and location of the container
The next rule is about the container, their types and the place of their location. When choosing containers, you should already be sure of what vegetables to plant in them. If you expect the vegetables to grow into big plants, you will need bigger containers. They should be deeper to allow for adequate space for growth of roots. This is taking the depth and diameter of the container as vital factors. If your plants are smaller like pepper, tomatoes and lettuce, 3 to 5 gallon containers may suffice.
When considering the location of the growing vegetables in containers, think of sunlight availability. Healthy plants are the result of sunlight sufficiency. A windy location in the patio or terrace will make the plants and the soil drier. If it is inevitable to place the vegetables in containers in these places, think of installing windbreakers around the plant.
How would you arrange together different plants? Ensure that the tall-growing plants do not shade or cover the shorter ones. Locate your vegetables in containers in places where they will all receive equal exposure to the heat of the sun.
Water and fertilizer for the indoor plant
Talking about moisture, growing vegetables in containers will take a bit more water as the containers tend to absorb heat. They should be placed in areas where there is easy access to water. This will make maintenance easier. You should know how much water is needed by your vegetable plants. You should not leave the soil soaking wet otherwise there is a tendency for the roots to rot. Do a finger test as a clue to the water needs of the plants. Dip your index finger into the soil. Is the soil dry and hard? Or does it feel moist? For dry soil, immediate watering is a must. If the soil is moist, water the next day.
Because growing vegetables in containers require more water, the fertilizer in the soil tends to dilute faster. Thus you will have to regularly replenish the lost nutrients. Add more compost as needed.
Growing vegetables in containers in your home can be a rewarding hobby. You reap the benefits of having a supply of freshly picked vegetables. If you have done this indoors, you can do it better outdoors provided you have the right location for your containers.
Indoor gardening gives you choices on what plants to cultivate. It may be for the beauty of flowers or to grow some herbs in your kitchen for your cooking needs. You can even grow vegetables in indoor container gardens. But before you push through with your plan, you have to be acquainted with some facts concerning the requirements of a successfully established indoor garden.
Indoor gardening although easy to do is not the same as tending an outdoor garden. The number 1 advantage in having this kind of garden is about space where even with very small available area, you can have an awesome collection of plants. There are certain house conditions to satisfy in order to ensure that your plants will grow robustly. This is beside the fact that not all plants can be raised in an indoor environment.
There are different set ups of indoor gardening, the container gardening is one where soil remains to be the medium. Water and air had become media for inside gardening, known as hydroponics and aeroponics, respectively. Whatever style is adopted, there are advantages inherent in indoor gardens.
Advantages of indoor gardening
• Indoor plants are decorative. The use of unnatural plants is already obsolete such that modern homeowners find it better to have more attractive real plants inside their house.
• Indoor gardening helps improve the air inside the home. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide and have these replaced with clean oxygen. They also absorb the pollutants in the surroundings so that residents breathe fresh air.
• Seeing the plants inside your home can change your mood. These are refreshing and the greens inside your home have calming effects especially to tired eyes.
• Indoor plants are easy to maintain. You do not have to worry about heavy rains, strong winds, winter frosts, plant diseases and insects.
Conditions inside the house
Your main concern will be on how indoor gardening will adapt to the conditions inside your house specifically the sunlight. You have to choose the plants carefully. The sunlight outdoors will never be equal to the sunlight received by a plant when they are stationed indoors. It is paramount that you consider the amount of sunlight that can be received by the plants. Will they get enough? Ferns are among the best of the choices as these need minimal sunlight only. If you want plants inside your house that required more sunlight, you will need to construct artificial source of light.
The plants will mostly be in containers. Since you want these indoor plants to have decorative function, even for secondary purpose only, you will have to plant then in nice containers or terra cotta pots. The soil is not the ordinary backyard soil. You will have to amend your soil and you may need to buy soil mixes to amend the soil’s fertility.
For all these factors, you have to consider your budget. You will buy indoor plants whose cost is more expensive than ordinary plants. You will buy the necessary materials for their growth, all of which can be pricey.
What to look for when buying indoor plants
Your main concern remains to be the kind of indoor plants and you can be spending a lot here. You must purchase the healthy plants; the good ones have medium to dark green leaves. If you buy unhealthy plants, they may not survive your indoor garden. Check out the leaves of the plants, they must be clear of pests. The roots should be as healthy as the leaves. If the foliage is green the roots should be perfectly whitish. Discoloration in the roots is a sign of unhealthy condition.
If you are a beginner in indoor gardening, these tips may not suffice to fill you with the right knowledge. It is best to consult with a gardening guru. Do not waste money in investing in this garden if you are not aware of the difficult task of setting up and maintaining this sort of garden.
We dream of a big garden but we do not usually have the chance to live in a spacious outdoor that will provide us with a huge space for gardening. Thus, we have to settle with a small garden but with the right small garden designs we can create the trick to make it look big.
The objective of creating an illusion of big space will require specific challenges. While it is possible to create a beautiful simple garden in confined areas like rooftop, balcony, a fresco or patio, it is more overwhelming to make a small space look big.
Space as a key factor for small garden designs
Space is a key when you want to create a beautiful garden. The more plants and colors in the vegetation, the more attractive the area is. But with a small space, you will think of how you can cram your desired plants and still make it look less crowded. That will require herculean effort.
When you rotate the small garden designs by 45 degrees, the space can be magnified to look larger and more interesting. A small garden design will make you allocate the corners of the garden to large planting pockets. With properly chosen plants, the pocket area can hide the patches and damages in the walls. The wall imperfections can then be disguised with cascading plants. When you add compost in this area, you can plant big flora species here to give an impression of huge space.
Suggestions in the design
You have to save space and for that, try to take note of the right proportion. A plant variety should not seem out of place. Every plant in the small garden designs should be related to one another. So, trim plants that take so much space so as not to cover the other smaller plants. If there is an empty wall, you can use this for vertical arrangement. You can have small plants on small containers or pots from the ground going up to the top of the wall. Make this your herbal garden area.
If you are creating a flower garden instead of vegetable garden, be sure to choose the right plants that will produce the desired colors of flowers. Small garden designs have suggested floral color location. In the midst of the garden orange, yellow and red colors of flowers are best. Blue and purple colored flowers planted on the garden’s boundaries will make the area appear spacious. Fence will make the space small so grow climbing plants on the fence.
Outside of the small garden, you can make paths or add steps. Walkways in the garden with curved endings can make the garden look big. The step and curves will also create an expanded illusion.
Importance of maintenance to keep the small garden design
Planning well is the secret of small garden designs. But the design must also take into consideration the requirements for its maintenance. The maintenance then of the garden should not be a hard chore to you. Instead, it should be a task that is enjoyable in order for you to keep tending your small garden. The plants have to grow healthy in order for the garden to look good. With dying plants, the smallness of the garden space will be very glaring.
Do not think that container gardening is only for flower-bearing and ornamental plants. Growing vegetables in containers is highly possible also although it may be more demanding. When growing ornamental plants, small lapses in everyday maintenance may stop the flowering but will resume once the needed care is given. But with vegetables, once a small lapse in caring happens, the size and taste of the produced vegetables suffer so much. The quality of the produced vegetables is dependent on a number of factors. Healthy vegetables are the outcome of the soil’s ability to nourish the plant with enough water and nutrients. Dry or unfertile soil can alter the flavor as well as the texture and the size of the fruit. It is imperative for you to know the kinds of vegetable plants to grow in containers. You have to be familiar with the type of soil and soil mix as well as the size and depth of the containers.
Best veggies to pick when growing vegetables in containers
Herbs and green leafy vegetables like lettuce are the best kinds when you are growing vegetables in containers. There are more but you have to classify them into cool season vegetables and warm season vegetables.
• Cool season vegetables are grown under 60 to 80 degree Fahrenheit temperature. They are the best vegetables grown in containers during the spring and fall seasons. They cannot survive the summer heat and neither can they tolerate even the slightest frost of winter. The quality of the harvested vegetables is determined by the quality of the soil mix, light fertilizers and regular supply of water. The crops are strong flavored when they grow in dry soil. There are plenty of cool season vegetables but the most commonly grown are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, lettuce, radish and peas.
• Warm season vegetables grow under 70 to 95 degree Fahrenheit summer temperature. The warm season vegetables need full sunshine. They are best grown from mid-May to early June. Among the most common vegetables grown in containers during summer are beans, cantaloupes, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and summer squash.
Type of soil and soil mix when growing vegetables in containers
Growing plants on the ground, gardeners have preference for garden soil. However, when growing vegetables in containers, the soil type has to be changed. The soil must be well-aerated and should allow for good drainage. Thus, the soil suitable for container gardening must be modified to meet the aeration and drainage requirement for healthy plant growth.
Here is a suggested modification or amendment to the soil that will be suitable to grow vegetables in containers. The soil-based mix must constitute of one part good garden soil, one part peat moss and or one part coarse builder sand. If you could not amend your soil in this way, you might as well go to a gardening depot and buy a ready mix soil for growing vegetables in containers.
Know the depth of the container
Actually any kind of container can be used provided it is deep enough. You can have synthetic pots, terracotta and ceramic pots if you want your vegetable containers to be decorative. You can also pick any bucket as long as it conforms to the depth requisite. You can even grow root crops like carrots and turnips if your container is really too deep.
If you are growing vegetables in containers in warm climates, it is best if you opt for light-colored containers. The dark colored containers will have the tendency to absorb heat that can burn the roots of your vegetable plants. You should also pick containers that have good drainage holes.
What are the ways by which you grow plants inside the house? With indoor gardening, you can also adapt different media by which you can grow your vegetation. You can plant on fertile soil or you can go soilless. In lieu of soil, you can plant in water or in the air, hydroponics and aeroponics respectively.
Any plant can grow inside the house but not all plants will survive in soilless medium. This makes non-traditional indoor gardening more overwhelming. You should also know that the soilless way of vegetation is not limited to indoor plants as hydroponics and aeroponics can also be done outdoors. Just like any farming method, indoor plants will need nutrients, water and sunlight. Can water and air as media supply all these? It is time to discover your optionsyou’re your indoor garden.
Indoor gardening – growing plants in soil
Planting in soil is the conventional method of gardening. It is from the soil that plants get the nutrients for their growth. When growing the flora inside the house, you should be picky in the choice of soil. Today, organic gardening is the best way to grow plants. You get away from harmful toxins and natural indoor gardening will make your indoor air free from pollutants.
You can make use of soil from your backyard but to use this for organic indoor garden, you add compost or natural organic mix into the soil. You can also purchase good commercial organic soil or organic mix from plant depots. Remember that when using the soil dug from the backyard without any soil amendment, you run the risk of infestation. That soil could carry unwanted weeds and insects. Furthermore, the soil texture can either be too compact or porous; that will be detrimental to good water drainage.
Hydroponics – growing indoor plants in water
Hydroponics is derived from the word “water”, meaning that your plants will be grown in water instead of soil. This is a good alternative method for indoor gardening. Plants that are grown hydroponically will have a smaller root system. This does not mean though that the plants will not be supplied with abundant nutrients. The roots do not function to seek nutrients, instead, they are provided through special hydroponic fertilizer and water solution.
With your plants grown in water medium, maintenance is easier as it would not require weeding Moreover it is not prone to soil-borne plant diseases. You would not worry about infestation. Plants grow healthy because with this method of gardening, you can easily control the light, temperature, pH levels, humidity and nutrient and water supply.
Indoor garden with aeroponics technology
Aeroponics is another indoor gardening method that will let you grow plants in a soilless manner. Instead, your plants will thrive in air. With this method, plants are grown in chambers like tubes and troughs. Typically the chambers consist of upper and lower chambers.
The roots of the plants are suspended in the air giving the roots more space to grow. The method makes use of strong neoprene collars that are flexible to support and accommodate the growth of the plants. The plants get their food and nutrients from nutrient mist and smart lighting. What may be critical in the aeroponics indoor gardening is the right choice of superior fertilizer. You should ensure that the fertilizer, when sprayed will not clog.
The roots benefit a lot in aeroponics as they have more space to grow. Hanging in the air will enable the roots to absorb the nutrients and oxygen easily. With this method, plants have minimal chance of getting root zone diseases. And without solid materials, pathogens can be hindered from getting into the plants making them less prone to diseases. Aeroponics provides high plant survival rate and floral production.
With very limited space in your home, indoor gardening is the best option to have plants around. With the myriad of flora species, you can have a choice for plant cultivation – in soil, water or air. Would you prefer to grow them in soil or in soilless way?
As a nature lover, you always want to be surrounded by the gifts of nature. Indoor gardening is the most fabulous way of bringing nature inside your home. The green foliage can brighten the room; they are relaxing and soothing to the nerves. With indoor gardening, you have a natural air purifier inside your house; the plants cleanse your inside air by replacing carbon dioxide with oxygen.
There are different plants suitable for indoor gardening. But then, there is a big difference in tending plants that grow indoors from those that thrive outdoors. To be successful in caring for the plants inside your home, you have to adhere to a number of tips. Even if you already had experiences with gardening, you have to learn more when it comes to growing plants in a different environment – the indoors. You have to figure out what is best in light, water and containers. From tips to actual practice, you ensure that you help your plants grow healthy and lovely.
About light requirement in indoor gardening
In whatever gardening tips you will come across, there is an advice on lighting. All plants whether grown outdoors or indoors will always need light to survive. Light to plants is food to humans. The real thing here is to know how much light and how often will you need it. Most plants will tend to rotate towards light so you have to see to it that you do this rotation in your indoor gardening plants on a regular basis.
A lot of plants need indoor sunlight but there are others that should be supplied with indirect light. When it is summer months, you should put your indoor plants outside. For indirect plants, they should be placed near the windows but ensure that they are kept far enough from direct sun rays in order to avoid the burning of their leaves. Some plants require minimal sun rays so you just locate them in a place inside the house where little natural light filters in to reach them.
Water for plants grown indoors
One of the most essential indoor gardening tips pertains to watering of the plants. Just like difference in sunlight requirements, different plants also have different water needs. How would you know that your indoor plants will need more water? If the soil is already dry, you have to water the plant right away but if it is still moist to the touch, you can water it after a couple of days.
Water and sunlight are related. The exposure to light determines the watering need. Where more light is received by the plants, the quicker will the soil dry. Thus, the more watering interval is needed. See to it also that you do not over-water the plants in your indoor garden; you will kill the flora. Too much water will invite diseases and insects and the roots will rot. If it is possible, invest in water gauge for the monitoring of the soil’s moisture level.
Containers and pots of indoor plants
As for the pots and containers, you have to make sure that they are able to adequately drain excess water. Without providing drainage for water, the plant may be flooded which will result to over-watering. The holes or drain of the pots or containers which normally are on the base should just be right to hold needed water and let flow the excess.
You should take these tips on indoor gardening about light, water and container seriously. These will serve as foundation for the success of your indoor garden.
Having a small space around your house does not mean that you cannot create a beautiful garden. You can make it appear spacious, attractive and interesting with the right small garden designs. Do not also think that designing a small garden is easier because it actually is not. You have to make every square inch in the little space become serviceable ad useful.
If you want to turn your small outdoor space into a vegetation oasis, you have to plan well. You will need to employ specific guidelines on designing a small garden. It really is not easy to think of what plants to put in. You should consider the kind and size of containers or pots, soil and watering system. And as you culminate, is the color, texture and aroma of the implemented small garden design fully satisfying?
Choosing the plants for small garden designs
One of the first factors in your small garden designs is the choice of plants. While plants may easily adapt to geographical locations, the plants that you have in mind may require different humidity, moisture and sunlight. Are you going to plant vegetables or just decorative garden plants? Planting vegetables may be more daunting than ordinary garden plants. You do not select just one kind of plant. Even if you are having a vegetable garden, it is best to have companion plants. With this, you think of plant compatibility. Mixing together non-compatible plants may cause plant diseases or slow growth.
To lessen the hassle of maintenance, you will need to group together plants that have the same food and water requirements. Separate those that need more water and put together those that should be planted in drier soil. Do not mix plants that can be counterproductive to one another. You will fail in your gardening and the small garden design will be useless because of the wrong choice of plants.
Containers, soil and water are essential considerations.
• Containers – In small garden designs, there is no need for plot of soil. You grow your plants in containers or pots. You can opt for raised beds or vertical gardening. You may also go for hanging baskets.
• Soil – Ensure that you support soil amendments in order to produce the best earth for the plants. It is recommended that you go with the trend of natural gardening. Thus, your soil must be organic to which soil amendment is crucial.
• Water system – Small garden designs will not require you to install irrigation system or sprinkling hose. The best way to supply the moisture to the plants in your small garden is to have a water drip system. The tubing and emitters will not detract the established plans and small garden designs.
A final glance of what your created
Take a look at the final design of your small garden. An awesome kind must have the right combination of colors as well as texture and aroma. Color choice is subjective to the garden cultivator. Do you want to see the colors of the rainbow in your garden? Or perhaps you just want a subtle combination of greens, browns and other neutral colors? You also want to see if the combination of big plants coordinates with the small plants. Finally, flowers and herbs have scents. Does the blending of scents create a pleasing aroma?
Setting up of a garden with limited space is not really a big problem if you follow the guidelines on small garden designs. The recommended ideas pertain to plants, oil, container, water system as well as the resulting color, texture and scent.