Imagine this: you’re a city slicker living your best urban life, and while you adore the metropolitan (or cosmopolitan) lifestyle you’ve created for yourself, you can’t help but long for a touch of greenery and the fresh air that comes with it every morning you have your daily cup of Joe on the balcony.
Enter container gardening: A fun, exciting and artistic way of turning a small space into a botanical oasis — and of course your ticket to a little slice of summer right at your doorstep. Let’s dive into the art of container gardening, its benefits and how to make the most of your limited space.
Plant Recommendations for Your Summer Container Garden
First, let’s talk about your summer guest list — the plants! Choosing the right ones is like picking the stars of your gardening show. You’ll find a variety of compact growers ideal for your small urban space. From tasty edibles to beautiful ornamentals, there’s a world of options.
- Herbs for Fresh Flavour:
- Basil: This fragrant herb is perfect for container gardens. It loves the sun, making it a great choice for a sunny balcony or windowsill.
- Mint: Refreshing and versatile, mint is excellent for summer cocktails and teas. It’s best grown in its own pot to prevent it from taking over.
- Rosemary: This woody herb thrives in containers and adds a delightful aroma to any garden — and a fantastic addition to grilled dishes.
- Colourful Flowers:
- Marigolds: These bright and cheerful flowers not only look lovely but also help keep pests away from your garden.
- Petunias: With their vibrant colours and cascading growth, petunias are a favourite for summer container gardens.
- Geraniums: These classic blooms come in a variety of colours and are known for their resilience in the summer heat.
- Compact Vegetables:
- Cherry Tomatoes: Enjoy the taste of freshly picked tomatoes from your balcony garden. Cherry tomatoes are compact and perfect for containers.
- Peppers: Both sweet and hot peppers can be grown in pots. They provide a pop of colour and flavour to your summer dishes.
- Zucchini: Opt for dwarf zucchini varieties as they are ideal for containers, allowing you to add homegrown zucchini for your summer dishes.
- A Touch of Greenery:
- Ferns: These elegant, low-maintenance plants are perfect for adding a touch of green to shaded corners of your garden. Just remember to water them regularly, especially during the hot summer months.
- Snake Plant (Sansevieria): If you have limited sunlight, snake plants are the answer. They thrive in low light and have shown to purify the air.
- Succulents: These water-wise plants come in various shapes and colours, adding a unique and modern touch to your container garden.
- Fragrant Blooms:
- Lavender: Known for its soothing fragrance, lavender is a great addition to your garden. It attracts pollinators and can be used as a natural air freshener.
- Jasmine: Jasmine is a climbing plant that can add a vertical element to your garden and its blooms adds a sweet scent to the air — especially when summer reaches its peak.
- Citrus Trees: Dwarf citrus trees, such as lemon or lime, not only provide fragrant blooms but also produce small fruits that are perfect for summer drinks.
Choosing the Right Soil for Your Container Plants
The success of your container garden all depends on the basics: That is, the quality of your soil. Selecting the right soil is crucial to ensure your plants’ root health, moisture retention, and overall well-being.
Invest in high-quality potting soil with good drainage. Your container plants will thank you for a nutrient-rich potting mix and a sprinkle of organic compost or fertiliser. Alternatively, you can create your own mix by adding organic compost for extra nutrients.
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Preparing and Selecting the Right Containers
Take it from gardening expert Tanya Visser: Containers aren’t just vessels for your plants. They are mobile, decorative elements “with a purpose”. In the latest episode of The Gardener and Friends, she shows us how to successfully create a potted herb garden. Watch the full episode below:
When selecting containers for your urban garden, consider pot materials, container sizes, and their functional design.
- Originality Goes a Long Way: Think outside the box and explore decorative planters, like hanging planters or stackable ones. Alternatively, you can get creative and add a touch of uniqueness to your garden by repurposing items like old crates, buckets, or even old boots and converting them into unique plant containers.
- Container Sizes Matter: Consider the size of your plants and their root systems when choosing containers. Smaller pots work well for herbs, while larger ones are ideal for vegetables.
- Aesthetics with Function: Don’t compromise aesthetics for function. With Garden Master’s array of different coloured pots, you can transform your small space into an artist’s retreat. If you’d much rather opt to add a touch of Tuscan flair to your outdoor space, consider our selection of porcelain, grey or raw clay pots.
Keep in mind though, whatever container you decide to use, proper drainage is essential, so choose containers that offer both form and function.
Tips and Tricks for Container Maintenance
Maintaining your container garden is essential to ensure its long-term success. Elements such as watering schedules, sunlight requirements, and plant maintenance are crucial for the longevity of your container garden.
- Start Small: If you’re new to gardening, begin with a few easy-to-maintain plants in containers. You can always expand your garden as you gain confidence.
- Choose Your Spot: Assess your urban space to find the perfect location for your containers. Balconies, window sills, and even small corners can become your green escape.
- Watering Schedule: Create a regular watering schedule but adjust it to suit the weather. Plants may need more water during hot summer days.
- Sunlight Preferences: Know the sunlight requirements of your plants. Ensure they get enough light, especially for those that thrive in full sun.
- Pruning and Maintenance: Regularly prune dead or overgrown parts of your plants to keep them healthy and maintain a tidy garden.
Regular care and disease prevention will help keep your garden in tip-top shape. Be prepared to repot your plants as they grow, and be mindful of the unique challenges that urban gardening may present. Seasonal care is also essential to keep your plants healthy and thriving.
The Beauty and Benefits of Urban Container Gardening
Container gardening is more than just a hobby; it’s a way to bring joy and beauty to urban life. Crafting your own personal green sanctuary can be a therapeutic escape, offering you the opportunity to reconnect with nature and transform your urban space into a vibrant oasis of greenery. So, go ahead, embrace the world of container gardening and experience the joys of urban green living.
Share YOUR container gardens with us by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram. We’d would LOVE to see them! Head to your nearest Share Makro, Builder’s Warehouse or Game today and be ready for any season with Garden Master! Visit our website for more.