Growing Organic Food in Containers

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Growing your own food is not only fun but also super healthy and rewarding. Planting in unusual and upcycled containers is even better! There are so many options for what you can plant your herbs and vegetable into. You don’t need heaps of space to start growing your own herbs and vegetables. Just about anything that can be grown in a garden can be grown in a container. So if you want an edible garden but lack the space, container gardening is the perfect way to grow your own food. You may have a veggie patch but you can also also grow herbs and veggies in containers that you reuse or recycle. The rule with container gardening is to ensure the container has drainage holes at the bottom to allow the water to drain and prevent the roots from rotting. So you may want to drill or cut a few holes at the bottom of your container if it does not have any.

Capsicum

Capsicum

Container gardening is great for unleashing your creativity. You can grow herbs and veggies in colanders, hanging baskets, crates, buckets, and boots, anything you want really. For example you can grow zucchinis and parsley in plastic crates – just place a horticultural liner in each of them, strawberries and silverbeet can be grown in an old bucket from the op-shop, and I’ve used baskets from the op-shops also to grow salad greens in the past.

Here are a few tips for container gardening from Coralie at Urban Planters

 Container size
Ensure you use the right size pot. If you grow beetroot and carrots, you will need deeper containers & pots than if growing lettuces, kale or Asian cabbages. Use a saucer or a tray underneath your pots/containers if planted indoor to prevent water from running everywhere. You can also use a saucer for outdoor pots. Depending on the container, you can use a horticultural liner to hold the potting mix in.
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Potting Mix
A combination of organic potting mix with organic fertiliser (chicken manure, blood and bone, seaweed fertiliser or worm juice) is great. You can also add coconut coir to help with water retention.
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Water
Water regularly, as the soil will dry out quicker in pots; water well – water should pour out of the pots and the soil should feel soaked. It can be a bit tricky to judge, but you can use the finger rule: stick your finger into the soil about 1 to 2 cm deep, if the potting mix feels dry, then your plant needs watering. Mulching will help retain water (spread mulch like sugarcane mulch or pea straw on the potting mix surface).

Sun
Three to six hours of sun per day is good enough for most of the leafy greens. Six hours plus is perfect for your fruit producing crops such as tomatoes, capsicums and zucchinis.
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Food & nutrients
Feed your potted crops weekly or fortnightly, with an organic seaweed liquid fertiliser.

Have you tried growing your own organic herbs & veggies in container? Have you used original containers? I’d love to hear from you.
Helen xx

**this was originally a guest post from Coralie of Urban Planters

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