What's the importance of pots in the garden?
Have you noticed that, with the growth of outdoor living these days, we’re spending more down-time in our gardens than ever before? We want to surround ourselves with the colour green because we know it brings calm and relaxation.
And how interesting to know that with this shift to spend more time in nature, container gardening has also become more and more popular.
Away with the ‘old school’ way of gardening: beds and beds of flowering annuals. These days we prefer to have low maintenance and water wise plants in the ground and rather plant our flowering beauties in pots - placing them in strategic spots in the garden and on the patio to create interest and a ‘wow’ factor, and where we can enjoy them.
…Or to have home grown fresh herbs and veggies growing in pots close to the kitchen for convenience.
Container gardening has evolved dramatically since its first inception. These days basically anything can go in a pot: from perennials to veggies and herbs, succulents to shrubs…even trees.
ADVANTAGES of growing in pots:
Here’s a list of the MANY reasons why you should get started with a container garden right now - no matter where you live:
Pots doesn’t take up much space; allowing you to grow plants on a balcony, patio, indoors on windowsills or rooms with adequate light.
Growing plants in containers makes gardening accessible to almost anyone including children, disabled persons and the elderly.
- Grow more variety:
You can grow plants that may not be suitable to grow in your garden soil and grow plants next to each other even though they may have different soil or watering needs. (A good example here is fynbos – ideal to plant in pots because it does not like root disturbance and if you life in an area with lots of clay.)
- Focal point:
Decorative pots can act as focal points or statements in the garden.
- Change the look:
Rearrange plants to suit the season or your personal taste. Plants in pots can easily and economically be replaced with something to suit your mood (or a new inspiration / trend?), or to be more water wise; or as each plant finishes flowering, it can be replaced with another.
- No weeding:
Due to the small surface area, it’s unlikely that many weed seeds will find their way into pots.
- No heavy garden tools and equipment:
Saves your back and money, AND less maintenance!
Plants in pots can easily be moved to suit your needs or to a more suitable sunny or shady location during the day. When you’re renting, this is also a big advantage!
- Control space invaders:
Vigorous growers like mints and bamboo that are too invasive if let loose in the garden do well in containers.
- Less disease problems:
Most of the time plants that are grown in containers have fewer problems with diseases than plants grown in the soil.
- Easier fertilising:
Keeping your plants well-fed is much easier when they are confined to a small area. Not as much nutrient tends to be lost or absorbed by neighbouring plants like when they are grown directly in garden beds.
- Time and labour saving:
Less time is spent weeding, walking and watering when plants are grouped all in one place.
- Close to the kitchen:
Enjoy the convenience of only reaching out or taking a few steps to fresh home grown herbs and veggies!
- Street Appeal:
Well-designed container plants placed strategically at a home’s entrance can add value and make your home more welcoming.
- Indoor gardens:
Improve indoor air quality, health and well-being with indoor plants.
- Edibles are getting increasingly popular to grow in pots. As gardeners realize that you don’t necessarily need huge space or a garden bed to grow veggies, herbs and even fruit trees, pots with edibles are popping up everywhere!
- Container plants grown vertically (against a wall) can turn just about any uninteresting nook into a beautiful garden spot. Vertical gardens are becoming more and more popular – an alternative for gardeners who don’t have a lot of horizontal space, want to cover an unattractive wall, or just want to something different.
- People tend to get creative in difficult times. Think recycle and re-use: give new life to an old water features by filling it up with soil and planting water wise succulents in it.
- More water retention products are available these days - especially useful for container plants – to keep moisture locked into the soil for longer periods. Try Gold Dust.
- The ease, versatility and drought resistance of Succulents make them a very popular container subjects these days. They look especially pretty in shallow pots (bowls), but let the creativity flow with the choice of containers - as long as there’s ample sun and drainage your succulents will thrive. Succulents demonstrate just how gorgeous container gardens without flowers can be! Plant different colours and textures together for a spectacular effect!
Growing Succulents in pots:
Most of us agree that succulents are a versatile, alluring, easy-to-care-for wonder plant. In dry, hot climates they are life savers in our garden and we have learned to love and appreciate them. They are perennial plants and can be kept in the garden year after year, and many are affordable and easy to propagate.
Choosing the right pot:
When choosing a pot for your succulents, opt for a shallow pot. Succulents’ roots are designed to catch rainfall and will spread across the surface in a delicate and fibrous web. A deep pot would encourage deep, untapped soil to remain waterlogged.
It could also throw off your proportion. With most succulents being short and slow growing, a tall pot (unless it’s tall for a design purpose, like an urn), could take the focus off the fabulous foliage.
Make sure your container has adequate drainage holes – the fastest way to kill a succulent is to leave it standing in wet soil.
* Go for a shallow clay or ceramic bowl / dish for a tabletop centerpiece (Echeverias will work perfectly here).
Planting up your Container:
- Start by adding a layer of drainage stones at the bottom of your pot. This will ensure that the soil will not stay waterlogged.
- Plant enough succulents – they grow slow enough that they won’t gobble each other up like annuals will.
- Fill your container with a suitable soil for succulents.
- When removing your succulents from their nursery container, don’t yank them out of the pots – tip the pots upside down, cupping the soil around the plant so it doesn’t fall, and gently squeeze until gravity delivers.
- After placing them in their correct positions in their new home, gently tuck extra soil with your fingers into the grooves between plants, filling in all the air pockets.
- Remember to give water!
Be creative and win space with pots!
Come have a look at the amazing selection of pots Cape Garden has to offer!
Or click here to conveniently view and purchase from our curated list online: Pots and Planters
It’s amazing what can happen when you mix an innovative gardener, beautiful pots, a few creative ideas and modest sized balcony or paved area!
Who said you need a huge area (or a garden bed for that matter) to garden. Pots to the rescue!