Front Porch Container Gardening
Learn front porch container gardening. You don't need a garden to grow fresh herbs and vegetables as well as flowers. Pots, soil, seeds and a porch or windowsill are all you need to exercize your green thumb.
Whether you want to grow your own kitchen herbs or just have flowers greet you in the morning, a garden in a pot is the way to go.
- A pot that is at least 6 inches in diameter, or several pots ranging from 6-12 inches in diameter. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom. Larger pots are fine if you have the space for them.
- Seeds! Make sure that the plants will not grow more than 12 inches tall and that they will have enough sunlight. Whether your porch is shaded or sun filled, there are seeds for either.
- Potting soil can be purchased at greenhouses, some hardware stores and some department stores like Wal-Mart. It is also a good idea to have some type of gravel or marbles for drainage.
- Plastic wrap
1) Place the gravel or marbles in the bottom of the pot, layering them one to two inches, making sure that there is at least four inches of space for soil. This provides drainage so that the roots of the plant won’t rot.
2) Soak the soil you will be using by placing it in a bucket and filling the bucket with water to cover the soil. Stir it around using a small trowel or your hands.
3) Place the dampened soil in the pot, filling it up to one inch below the rim.
4) Sprinkle or place the seeds, according to the packet directions, on the soil and cover by sprinkling a small amount of soil over them. It is important not to cover them too deeply.
5) Place a piece of plastic wrap over the pot. This will create a greenhouse effect, keeping moisture in without the need to water while the seeds germinate.
6) Place the pot in a warm, dark place if possible, until the seeds sprout.
Once the sprouts are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch, take off the plastic wrap. If they are going to be in direct sunlight on your porch, wait to place them outside until they are at least one inch tall.
To care for your plants, check the pots often to see if the soil is dry. It is not necessary to water plants every day. When the soil is dry, water the plants by filling the pot with water until it drains out the bottom. This ensures that the plants will have enough water. If you are growing herbs, check the packet to see how dry to let them get before watering, as herbs thrive in drier soil. If you notice that your plants are droopy, they need water. If you notice that they are more yellow than green, they may be getting too much or not enough sunlight.
For flowers or herbs that grow taller, you may need to stake them up to keep them from drooping. Gently push a pencil into the soil and tie the plant to it for support. If you plan to harvest the herbs, wait at least until the third set of leaves has appeared. Pinching off the top set of leaves also makes a bushier plant as two sets grow from one pinch.
When purchasing seeds, remember that you can plant anything that will be a smaller plant including all kinds of flowers and herbs as well as some vegetables.