So far the only gardening I had dared to take on is container gardening. I have several reasons, the foremost being that we do not own the place we are living in and I want to make sure that if we do move to a final location, I could bring all of my plants with me. Now I couldn’t do that if the plants are planted directly in the soil, could I?
Now even if you do own your place, container gardening still offers several other advantages. Here are some.
1. Weeds are minimal.
When plants are planted directly in soil, they do thrive alright, but so do weeds. On the other hand, when you do container gardening, weeds are pretty lame and you can easily pull them off as soon as they crop up.
2. You can move them around.
Only by container gardening can you enjoy the pleasure of moving plants around—from outdoors to indoors, from a sunny spot to a shady area or for no particular reason. I, for one, relish the chance to move plants around, if for no other reason than to have a workout, haha. Seriously though, you do need to move plants around for these reasons:
• Some plants that you thought were sun-loving turn out to be shade-hungry and have to be moved out of the sunny spot.
• Sometimes you want to group plants together of the same or contrasting color, the same or complementary texture, the same or differing heights or the same variety.
• A lot of times you want a new look around your house and simply varying the plants would do the trick.
• As always, it’s far easier to move pots around than to pull plants off the ground.
3. Fertilizing is a breeze.
I put in pulverized egg shells, wood chips, sawdust, a little ash, mulch or humus soil to fertilize my potted ornamental plants. Just a little fertilizer can go around pretty much with container gardening—something you cannot do with ground-bound plants.
4. Watering is easy.
Watering is a breeze with container gardening. You will easily know when you have watered enough if the water starts to drain at the bottom of the pot. With plants on the ground, you’re quite unsure if you’ve watered enough and you end up wasting water.
5. You can put a limit to plant growth.
Generally, plants grow only up to the size of their pots. This eliminates the possibility of your being overrun by much too aggressive plant growth, as what all too often happens with planting them in the ground. And when plants do overgrow their pots, you can simply repot the new growth or trim them.
6. You can use different pots.
With container gardening, you get to enjoy the many different kinds of pots around—the classic rustic beauty of earthen pots, the convenient light weight and frugality of cheap rubber pots, the elegance of glossy ceramic pots and the many colors, sizes and shapes that these pots come in the form of.
7. You can have a garden in soil-less nooks and crannies in your house.
That boring gray concrete corner of your backyard, the brick-floored frontyard or the desk in your study room can all be spruced up with potted plants. Now if all your plants are planted in soil, how would you be able to do that? Potted plants are the handy perker-uppers for the many parts in your house that you want to brigten up—windowsills, kitchen sink, living room corners, dens and patios.
8. You can create mini-gardens.
With container gardening, you can make a circular cluster of potted plants in the middle of your front yard for a striking central focus, or you can arrange pots in towers up against a corner of your wall. Of course you can also group together little potted plants atop a table or a desk. You can have garden pockets virtually anywhere in your home when you have many potted plants.
9. You can easily grow a collection of plants.
Plant nurseries usually sell potted plants which you can then plant in bigger pots. One of my simple joys is to buy a potted plant or two every week, each of which costs from ten to twenty pesos or half a dollar. After about a year of gardening, I now have nearly 200 pots of plants and about 80 varieties. And I’m still counting.
10. Plant disease is not much of a problem.
Pests and plant disease spread much more easily when plants are grown directly in soil. With container gardening on the other hand, a move from one spot to another would isolate the source of disease and eliminate the possibility of infesting the others.