Pots & Containers are very important components of your urban gardening growing journey. By choosing them smartly, you can optimize your space and make the best out of your balcony or terrace.
GIVE ENOUGH ROOM TO YOUR PLANTS
I made the mistake in the beginning to go for small pots and even put two plants in the same container. But think about it, the smaller the pot is, the less soil & space the plant will have to develop. Don’t set quantity as your primary goal, give the priority to quality by giving the right space to Nature! It’s better to have one healthy plant per pot giving you regular harvest on the long run, versus 2 plants in the same pot which won't have the right room to develop correctly.
YOUR POTS NEED TO LET YOUR SOIL BREATHE & DRAIN WATER
A mandatory point, your pots & containers need to have drainage holes at their bottom to allow the soil to breathe & evacuate water. So, only buy pots having these holes. If you are reusing existing containers (plastic boxes, wooden wine crate...) make these holes at the bottom, it's truly essential!
WHICH MATERIALS FOR YOUR POTS?
The answer depends upon your climate but also upon your personal taste & convictions. If you live in an area with very cold winter, avoid using terra cota pots as they can break easily with frost. In general recycled plastic containers are more reliable, they are also lighter to move and easier to store. You can also have a look at textile bags which are also a great compromise in terms of flexibility & reliability.
CHOOSE RELIABLE & ECO-FRIENDLY BRANDS
If your choice goes for plastic, I feel this is extremely important to choose eco-friendly brands that are recycling plastic and not producing new plastic, our planet do definitely not need more plastic waste. In terms of brands, you have a large choice on the market, but choose wisely.
Since I've started gardening, I personally get almost all my pots from the brand Elho. They produce reliable pots & offer a large choice of colours, sizes, textures to fit with your style. All their products are also fully plastic recycled. I love to think that an unnecessary plastic bottle can now be recycled into a pot, giving soon birth to many fruits & vegetables over several seasons.
POTS & CONTAINERS I’M USING TO GROW MY VEGGIES
I'm personally using 3 main types of pots & containers to grow my own food. The combination of these three are allowing me to optimize my space and grow many different varieties.
- Growing Table : These growing tables offer optimal possibilities and are very space efficient. They offer a great volume containing 50L of soil but also enough width & depth. I'm growing a lot of varieties in there such as Lettuce, Kale, Herbs, Radishes, Turnips, Spinach...The growing table from Elho also comes with an adapted lid, giving a great protection to the plants and reproducing the effect of a mini greenhouse.
- Window Planters : You can place them on your balcony railings, on windows, but also on any walls or a shelf attached to your wall. You can successfully grow with them a wide range of veggies such as lettuce, radishes, spinach, all sorts of kitchen herbs but also flowers to attract pollinators. I also love their flexibility, they are easy to move if you wish to rearrange your growing space or move your growing plants to more shade or more sun. You can always place below some standard pots to optimize the floor space. Obviously, they are also optimal for flowers!
- Regular Pots : With these regular pots, you will have the widest choice in terms of size & materials. They will allow you to grow many varieties from the tiniest to the biggest plants. A crucial thing to take into account with these pots, is the volume of soil. Some varieties needs more soil & space to develop healthily.
SORRY TO DISAPPOINT YOU BUT YES SIZE MATTERS!
Well, at least size matters for pots and containers. The depth & height of the pots are extremely important to give the right amount of soil volume to your plants. To grow healthy cherry tomato plants, a volume of 10L is perfectly adapted, for other varieties such as courgettes, aubergines, I would recommend a pot of 18-20L so that the plant can create its necessary root system. For Lettuce or Radishes, a window planter can make a perfect job.
I hope this article was helpful and I wish you’ll find the pots & containers which will make your veggies happy & adapted to your space!
You will have to fill in your pots with a healthy soil, so you can now check the article on Choosing the right soil for your pots