Container Gardening Tips for your Deck or Balcony
- Think of ways to garden while standing up. Hang containers on a deck or place them on tables or retaining walls. This keeps rabbits and deer from getting to them.
- Avoid carrying heavy bags of potting mix. Although buying in bulk may be less expensive, it isn’t worth hurting your back. Consider a wheeled cart or wheel barrel.
- Use a quality potting mix, not top soil or garden dirt. (Think light, airy soil mix.) Some mixes come with water-conservation amendments that should require less watering.
- If your potting mix doesn’t contain fertilizer, use water-soluble plant food every other day. If it has three, six or nine months of slow-release food, begin using plant food after that period.
- Read and follow label instructions on sun/shade requirements that come with the plant or seed packet to get best results.
- Be certain that your container has adequate drainage. Otherwise, plant roots could be deprived of oxygen, causing them to drown. This includes draining the catch saucer after a very heavy rain.
- Consider using about ½ inch of fine mulch in a container to minimize watering.
- If the plants you purchase are root-bound, tease them out (I use a kitchen fork) and cut off about a third before putting them in containers.
- Refill watering cans (and extra gallon jugs) every time you water. That way, when you are in a hurry, the plants won’t suffer. I prefer using a gallon spout (versus sprinkle) watering can. It isn’t too heavy, and I can direct the water where I want it.
- If you harvest more herbs than you can use, chop them and freeze them in distilled water in ice cube trays. Once the herbs are frozen, store them in labeled zipper-lock baggies. Then they’re ready to use in recipes.
Read more here » See Gallery »