Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gardens & gardening

One oily-ragger from Whangarei uses fish trays. He says they already have drainage holes and cost only a few dollars at variety stores.
The downside to growing vegetables in pots is the same as with any potted plant. They need a bit more care and attention because they have limited soil from which to draw their nutrients, and the soil dries out faster.
It is therefore necessary to fertilise and water the plants regularly.
Here are some more tips for space-challenged oily-rag gardeners:
Don't grow plants that take up lots of space - like Jack and the Beanstalk runner beans - or ones that have a long growing season.
Small is definitely beautiful, so go for compact veges like finger lettuce, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, spinach and silverbeet.
Avoid using dark-coloured containers - they absorb heat, which may dry out the soil.
The easiest way to add fertiliser to plants growing in containers is to prepare a nutrient solution and pour it over the soil.
There are many good commercial liquid fertilisers available, but a reader has this tip: "Don't throw away your plastic milk bottles. When they are empty, fill with cold water. Place lid on and shake. There is a good milky residue. Use the contents to water your pot plants. It acts like a pick-me-up. My indoor plants thrive and it saves you from having to buy costly fertilisers."
Use a potting mix, not regular garden soil, as some types of soil don't drain well and can become heavy and set like concrete in warm weather.

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