The current drought in South Africa has made us more conscious of saving water and, unfortunately, has lead us all to believe that we cannot maintain our luscious gardens as water restrictions have become a reality. This does not have to be the case, however. How do we maintain a magnificent garden while saving water? Container gardening has become trendy and it’s a solution to an aesthetically pleasing garden without the large consumption of water. So, get your plant pots and containers out and get ready to start planting.
Container gardening is about using plant pots, planters or any other form of container to group plants either by colour, water requirements or plant type. It is an effective way to grow plants as certain plants require more water than others which could lead to the overwatering or under watering of certain plants unless grouped correctly. Companion planting is also a good idea for container planters. It can also look very attractive- provided you use a little creativity or a stylish container such as Allsorted’s range of planter pots.
Allsorted boasts a large variety of planter pots in its product portfolio. Planters are designed to fit a unique watering system liner which reduces water consumption.
The liner ensures that plants are correctly watered. A watering pipe, which reaches to the bottom reservoir of the liner, is connected. An amount of water is poured into the pipe. At the bottom of the liner, pumice capillary stones are placed. Theses stones absorb the reservoir water and slowly allow the plant to absorb the water from them, in turn, taking more water from the reservoir below. This means that no water is wasted and your plants stay healthy without the need for excessive watering.
So where, exactly does one begin? Gardening experts Tanya Visser and Anna Cilliers are full of advise when it comes to container planting. We took a look at their book Garden Projects With Tanya and Anna and found a few tips on container planting.
First thing’s first. You need a plant pot or container. Choosing the correct one depends on style and space constraints. If your container will be inside then a special planter with a watering system liner will be required. If outside, the container must be made from an outdoor material. It is vital that the plants are not sitting in containers made from toxic materials. The opening of the planter should be wide enough to plant into and the depth of the planter must be great enough to allow for growth. Drainage is another important factor to consider.
Once you have chosen your planter, it’s time to start potting.
Using the correct soil will determine the success of your plants’ growth. Tanya and Anna recommend the use of commercially produced potting soil over dirt from your garden as it is less likely to contain diseases and weed seeds. This can generally be bought at your local nursery.
Coco peat is a good product to use in your soil as it has a high rate of water retention which will reduce the loss of water. It is also an environmentally friendly product. Sphagnum peat is another alternative that can be used to increase the retaining of water. It slowly leaks water back to your plants’ roots as they require it. You can purchase these products at Garden Centres.
Once plants are planted, they need to be watered. In order to reduce the frequency of watering, Tanya and Anna suggest covering the top layer of soil with mulch in order to prevent fast evaporation- a must do in this hot weather! It is preferable to keep your plant containers out of direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day.