June 4, 2010, Newsletter Issue #133: Container Garden Drainage

Tip of the Week

Your crock pot bubbles over if you put too much water in it--this is your first time cooking away from home. You were never domestically inclined. But you're planting a garden because, like knitting on movie sets, it's the cool thing to do. Whether you have a hanging container garden or a fiberglass tub, your container garden design needs to take drainage into account. Also, while you need to water a container garden more frequently than a raised bed garden, you don't need to water on a schedule, every day, three times a day.

Shirley Brenon, gardening enthusiast and writer of a weekly gardening column for the Palm Springs, California newspaper THE DESERT SUN, says, "Stick your finger in the pot. If it's damp, you don't need to water." Brenon says that most people make the mistake of over-watering and sticking to a rigid schedule. Some other container gardening and container vegetable gardening hints for the household hopeless: Hanging baskets need to retain water because the air will dry them out faster--container gardening tip: line them with peat moss, though master gardener Tony Avent derides it as overused and prefers composted leaves. If your hanging basket does leak from frequent watering, place it above another container garden. Place the fiberglass, plastic and wooden containers on blocks for better drainage. GardenGuides.com recommends that holes in container garden boxes or tubs be at least 1/2 inch across for adequate draining. Line containers with newspapers to drain plants and keep away weeds or pests.

Your garden is growing, your stew is passable...it's not so bad doing this domestic business by yourself.

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