If traditional flower beds and large gardens don’t match the amount of time and space you have, don’t rule out gardening all together. Container gardens blend the traditional and the modern, solving a number of typical garden problems:
If garden space is at a premium
When your outdoor garden consists of a 2x2m patch of grass that is almost never sunny, or when you have no outdoor garden at all, planting in pots is the best way to add any lacking nature around you. Container plants and propagators can be placed anywhere -indoors or outdoors, windowsills, patios and balconies, even on your rooftop – as long as there is adequate sunlight.
If you don’t have the right garden for your favourite plants
Container gardens allow for more versatility; not only because you can match specific soil requirements to each plant, but also because you can easily move them around. If you want to grow a plant that requires partial sunlight but only have a baking hot balcony, you can move the containers indoors and outdoors whenever you need to, allowing you to plant whatever you want. This is also great for renters who won’t have to leave their plant children behind when moving!
If pesky pests are a problem
The isolation of container plants and less surface area means some problems typical larger gardens face are either infrequent or much easier to control. Pests and diseases are less likely to find your plants or spread to others, making eradication effortless. Similarly, problems with weeds or space invaders are almost non-existent.
If you want to help the environment and save water
While the droughts may be subsiding in South Africa, you can still help the environment and reduce the threat of drought in the future by opting for a water-wise container garden. Water requirements can be optimised for each plant rather than watering an entire piece of ground. By collecting water that would go unused (like running cold water when waiting for hot water) to water your pot plants, you can drastically limit your water usage. Alternatively, you can invest in self-watering planters that will do the job for you!
If you are a gardening newbie
Container gardens allow you to start small, experiment, and scale up whenever you want to. For those without experience with plants, pot plants are easier to monitor and modify watering or sunlight accordingly. Container gardens are a great way to introduce children to gardening or help physically challenged gardeners because they are more manageable and accessible.