FRUIT & VEGETABLE GARDENING – More about Pots
This is the time of the year when most things in the garden are going well – flowers are flowering as though the sun would always shine, and the fruit & vegetables are ripe for picking – some of them growing with such enthusiasm that you can’t keep up with the picking!
Now is a good time to take stock and decide what should be changed or added to next year – not that you should move plants when they are at the height of their production, but it is helpful to make a few notes and take a some cuttings. I grow great swathes of lavender as I love hanging bags of the dried flowers in my closets and layering more in drawers and on shelves, but I’ve realized that in my tiny garden the bushes are just in the wrong place, so I’m taking a dozen cuttings to be ready for planting out next spring.
Another pleasant occupation can be designing your own focal points where you would like to see something more dramatic than just beds or pots. One fun way to dress up corner in a path for instance, is to take three standard pots – one very large and low, one medium sized and deeper and one small one (see illustration).
It’s easiest to make your pot hi-rise where you want to see it as by the time you have finished planting it, it’s very heavy.
Fill your bottom pot with a good heavy garden soil enriched with a handful of long term fertilizer. Take a bamboo cane, submerge it in the center and thread the medium pot onto it, resting the middle pot on the base pot’s soil. Fill the second one with lighter compost, thread the third one onto the cane and fill it with the same lighter compost, placing it on the soil of the medium pot. Make sure it is all standing straight & square (this is the reason for the bamboo). Cut the bamboo to length, just above the pot’s rim, or longer if you want it to support a plant.
If you are thinking about this idea for the corner of a balcony, the pots should probably be plastic and all the compost lightweight, soil-less compost. It will be heavy when full (and especially when watered) so you must check that the balcony or roof terrace is strong enough to take it.
Planting is the fun part. There are miniature versions of almost every vegetable and fruit growing (don’t forget the possibility of filling it with a useful choice of herbs) so the choice is up to you - just think...
Bottom layer, out and down – courgette (zucchini) or miniature melons or squashes.
Middle layer, out and lighter – small strawberries, currants, cherry tomatoes.
Top layer up and out – a fountain of chives, a mixture of basils, salad greens, the choice is nearly endless.
Remember that to grow well in such a compressed space the plants will need regular fertilizer and the hi-rise pots should give you months of pleasure.