Vegetable gardening can be a rewarding hobby, but it is not always easy to have a large garden especially if you live in a dry climate where it becomes impossible to keep the soil moist. Even the best of gardens need water and the same apply to container gardening. You can grow a small garden in a five litre pot if you have a relatively small area to work with. However, this type of gardening is best limited to low height plants that don’t spread their roots too far. A container garden can be an ideal way to save space and provide vegetables wherever you happen to live.
Plant pots are available in different shapes and sizes but the most popular are the rectangular ones. The five little black pot has been widely used for vegetable gardening. The benefits of using a pot include allowing moisture to penetrate to the root system so the plant gets all the nutrients from the soil. Plants grown in 5 litres of water will need a minimum watering each day. If you don’t have a drip irrigation system, this should be adapted so you don’t water the plant dry.
A popular and efficient method of fertilizing vegetables growing in containers is to use a five litre plant pot with a five x 25cm high saucer depth. The plants can be watered directly using a hose whilst the top of the saucer is left dry. This type of system allows the top of the pot to absorb as much water as possible without the vegetables drying out too much. When the soil dries out, it will hold more moisture which improves germination and root growth. For a sunny location it is advisable to position the saucer at least half way up the pot.
Vegetable gardening with containers can also be undertaken using a simple low-cost set of plant pots called the five little black pots. These pots have a deep base made from clear plastic. The plastic surface has been textured with a silicone “rollers” design to prevent skidding. They are very durable and the black color blends well with any surrounding green.
Low-cost pots, or “drip irrigation” pots, as they are often referred to, are ideal for short-term or seasonal gardening. They are simple to use and inexpensive and there is no need to aerate plants as plants grow best when they are in the ground. The plants may only need to be watered once a day – perhaps after the third week – depending on their size. If you want the plants to flower then a bulb timer is available that will allow you to control when the bulbs flower by adjusting the water and fertilizer levels.
To plant your vegetables in a pot, first prepare the soil by removing all rocks, clays and sod from the garden bed. This will save time in regards to digging new holes and tiling. You will then add two thirds of a bag of top soil in the bottom of the pot (the plants will soil quickly). Once this has been mixed into the soil, place the saucer in the pot and water in through a feeding hose.
After the plants have roots firmly established, the remainder of the process is simple. Just add the compost to the soil through the saucer. Then, water the plants gently to encourage good root growth and then remove the saucer. Add the plants evenly into the prepared pot leaving ample room at the bottom to allow air to circulate. Once they are all in place, you will then turn on the watering and watch the plants grow.
Some important tips to remember when using a five litre pot: never make the mistake of watering the plants too frequently, as this can lead to root rot and loss of colouration. Also, always use a reputable potting bench pad to fill in any spaces between the rim and the sides of the pot to avoid odours forming due to watering. A two litre pot is usually suitable for six plants. If you are growing fruit trees, then the three litre is usually better suited.