Patio Allotment – If growing herbs on your patio doesn’t go far enough, and you want to make it a productive area, not just somewhere where you can sip the odd glass of rose on your fancy-pants outdoor garden furniture, you could try the whole patio allotment idea…
Increasingly gardeners are growing fruit and vegetables in containers and not just because they lack the space to do so elsewhere. There are a number of benefits.
Patio Allotment – Sunshine. It’s fair to say that almost everything we grow to eat will need a fair dose of sunshine. If you choose to grow veggies in containers, you are able to keep them in the best possible position. Early in the season they may need to be in full sun, later on, you may want to move them so that they don’t over bake.
Patio Allotment – Growing medium. By container gardening, you are able to control absolutely the growing medium for each plant. Fresh compost means you cut down the chances of soil-based diseases. Don’t be tempted to use garden soil though – all those earthworms, micro organisms and fungal spores that are harmless in the open ground can result in toxins building up in a confined area. Use a sterile growing medium and check the ingredients to get one that provides all the nutrients and correct pH balance your particular plant requires. It is worth spending a bit more to get a superior growing medium – you’ll get better yields in the long run.
Patio Allotment – Ease of care. Let’s face it; this is probably the prime motivator for most of us. It’s easier to pick off a few weeds as you stroll over to the patio table with your morning coffee, than to make a special trip down to the bottom of the garden where most veg patches tend to be. When it comes to watering, this is even more the case. It’s harder to ignore a thirsty plant on your patio, when you are sat at your aluminium outdoor table, than those veggies languishing beyond the reach of the garden hose.
Patio Allotment – Containers. Here the list is pretty much endless – from functional tough polyethylene purpose-made potato pots, tomato grow bags or strawberry towers, to smart willow-grow bag edging. Gardman do a fantastic range, but they are not alone. If you prefer something more quirky, I’ve seen wine crates, lined and planted up en masse to great effect. Just bear in mind that you want your containers to harmonize with your carefully chosen garden furniture, so if you’ve opted for a rattan set, you may be best to avoid woven materials which may be too similar. If you’ve gone for aluminium outdoor furniture, you’ve got more choices but make sure everything hangs together well if you are after that elusive wow factor.