Containers in your garden plot

Person Author: Mark Calender January 12, 2015 Posted Tags: , , , Comment 1 Comment

The year 2014 is now past and for me it was the first year of growing any variety of veg or salad and i will be the first to admit i did go a little mad trying to grow everything i possibly could. With this being my second year and absorbing knowledge from the forum here at Seed Parade i thought i would share a few of my mistakes. We all make them but when it saves a new grower money i thought i would share my experience on containers.
Container growing dos require a little more care and attention however with the time and effort everyone can grow a fantastic array to harvest for the dinner plate and even more to give away to friends and family.

First i will start with stackable containers. Trust me they look bigger than they are and once stacked up they are even smaller. Each pot, once stacked up is really no bigger than a 12 cm pot , Great if you would like a mini selection of cut again herbs or salads but in reality one snip and it is weeks before the 2nd flush of harvestable crop comes again. A small footprint is nice and maybe they will do well with some bedding plants or maybe even a strawberry plant in each section. I guess these stackables would be ok on a balcony for a single person but if you have a daughter like mine that eats strawberries as soon as there is a hint they are ripe, in my view forget them.

The next batch of containers i have used and rather regret is the wall hanging fabric type.

Again they look bigger than they really are and once filled with compost and plants at full growing stage the whole lot weighs a huge amount and we have not added any rain water yet.

Even with rain water growing in containers we still have to do  the watering as they do dry out very fast. There is also the factor that the material is very much like weed membrane, it is not very heavy duty for a wall container and will only last a season at most with planting, watering, added rain, and the eyelets that you hang them with rusting away.

In my opinion they might look great once hung up and planted, but the pleasure is short lived when that mid summer down pour in the night leaves you with a mass pile of compost and plants slopped on the floor.

My 3rd set of planters are the plastic foldable plant pots. Available in so many sizes they will suit many plants and shrubs at a starting stage. I chose 3 liter ones for my excessive amount of tomato’s i grew and wow they were great to start with. I had an abundance of toms, made sauces and chutneys as we do and even though i am personally allergic to tomato’s i stuck it out to do all the side shoots and tie them up to the canes.
Then the great British weather started to get really hot, these pots dried out so fast i could not keep up, it was water constant to keep them going and at the time i had no way of sitting them in a tray.
The next problem occurred when the plants were laden with fruit. They became top heavy and with drying out so fast and the sheer weight, every day became a chore, watering and standing the pots up.
So overall yes these are great pots, you can fold them flat for storage the next year, they are easy to clean and are reasonably priced. But if you want to spend every day watering ( without a tray ) or all day standing them back up because the slightest breath of wind, then they are really suited just from growing on in. (This is of course my opinion ) I will use them again but this time i have water trays and a more sheltered spot for them.

I promise i will not bore you any more. However i think i have found the planters everyone should consider. Cheap, reliable, sturdy, a small foot print and available in a few good sizes.

made from a hessian type plastic, very much like builders bags these type of planters are very sturdy, do not dry out very fast and will give plenty of room for potatoes, tomatoes, onions, beetroot, cucumbers, squash and so much more. I personally found the potato ones better ( the ones without the harvest hole) but i did also get some taller slight narrower ones for the tomatoes. Yes i did go mad on tomatoes last year.

I had no trouble of them drying out or falling over out side on the driveway and in a 4 meter long poly tunnel i could fit 11 in a line with room to spare.

The draw back would be the amount of compost they take to fill and also when it comes to the end of the season after being exposed to the sun and weather they can and do break up when you try to move them. If they are lined up in rows i found that the ones sheltered from the sun will last me another year. The ones exposed are beyond salvage so although i love these type of planters we have to figure in costs as they can be or not be re-useable.

Costs for me were £1 each for the large potato ones and the same for the tomato ones, however you can get deals where you get 2 planters for £1.50. You just have to keep an eye on the sizes but for 2015 i will certainly be using these planters again.

I guess what i have shared is “think before you buy”. Think what you want to grow in your planters how much time you have to water and care and also consider how long the planter will last you.

I know this blog went on a bit but i hope it helps at least 1 person.


One Response to “Containers in your garden plot”

  • Naturewoman:

    Thanks for a very detailed blog on containers.
    I have had similar experiences with many containers I have used.
    I have used Morrisons large reusable shopping bags, they are made of a similar plastic hessian as the specialist grow bags. They only cost 59p and I get at least 3 years growing in them.

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