Louis Jones July 18, 2019

One of the main goals of Edible Garden Landscaping is to provide people with the information and knowledge they need to grow more of their own food for both health and budget reasons. Interest in gardening in general is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s important to realize that you don’t need a dedicated plot of land to join in the fun-all you really need is a pot, good dirt, some seeds or plants, water and sunshine.

What Should You Plant In?
The size and number of plants that you want to grow in a container will determine the size you should use. Keep in mind that deep rooted vegetables, like carrots and parsnips require deep pots. In any case, you’ll want to stay away from small pots because the plants will quickly become root bound and won’t produce as well as they could.

Be sure that your containers have adequate drainage. One way to make sure the planter is well drained, but that the soil doesn’t leak through the drainage holes is to line the bottom or the planter with a unbleached coffee filter. The soil will stay put and the excess water will be able to properly drain. Also, if the containers will be on a hard, flat surface, you’ll want to raise them up on bricks so that the plant can drain properly.

Select your containers based upon your style. Just keep in mind that pots or planters made of clay are extremely porous so the soil will dry out faster as water evaporates through the sides. That’s not to say, don’t use clay, just know that you’ll need to water more frequently. To get a good start with a clay container, presoak it so that it starts out saturated. In the heat of summer, it could also be advantageous to set your clay pots in water baths for a few hours to saturate from the outside in.

Start with Good Dirt
For best results, don’t use straight garden soil/top soil in a container, it could introduce pests and diseases, plus it’s too heavy to maintain a healthy environment for your plant’s roots. Instead, use a soil mix. It’s easy to make your own. Just mix equal parts of loamy garden soil, sand, and peat moss. To quickly sterilize garden soil you want to add to your mix, you can “cook” it in your own kitchen. Put it in a roasting bag and microwave at full power for 1 minute per pound of soil.

You can then customize the soil used in your containers to specifically benefit the plants it holds. For example, for an acid loving plant like a small bush blueberry add coffee grounds or decomposed pine needles to increase acidity. Or if the plant prefers more alkaline soil add small amounts of wood ash.