Potted Plant Culture Essential Guide for Potting Plants Successfully
Once upon a time, human beings were fortunate enough to have huge rolling miles of land in which to build their gardens and to cultivate their farms. However, in the last two millenniums of civilization, the wide-open spaces have become congested into concrete jungles and the open gardens have been shrunk into pocket handkerchiefs – sized backyards.
So is it a surprise that more and more people who are interested in gardening are looking for alternative ways and places in which they can grow flowers, trees, shrubs, and herbs of their own choice. And that is why container gardening, especially gardens grown in pots and containers have been a godsend for a majority of people down the ages.
Pots and containers can be of any size, shape, natural material and dimensions.
Pots are absolutely necessary for the cultivation of some of the choicer kinds of plants, as well as for seed sowing. Experienced gardeners down the ages set out rules of successful gardening. It was more sensible to sow seeds in pots in sheltered places and wait for them to sprout into seedlings rather than broadcast all the seeds outdoors on well-prepared seed beds.
For thousands of years, utensils of earthenware, as well as clay pots have been used as containers to contain plants as well as seedlings.
Once upon a time, it was very easy for you to go to the market, and ask for a number of these containers from the friendly neighborhood potter, who would be kept busy throughout the year, making and firing the pots and containers for you and the rest of the people in the town.
Avenue trees in formal gardens are still being grown in pots, like they were done millenniums ago.
However, the quality of these pots would vary a lot, in many parts of the globe, as regards the durability and steadiness of the material from which they were made. Some of these remains have endured for more than 5000 years, turning up in archaeological digs as shards.
Some hundreds of years old earthernware wine jars have been found under the sea and to have survived shipwrecks with their priceless content of wine and even fish sauce – garum-still present, in them. So one could only praise the experienced potter who made such sturdy and long-lasting pots.
Choosing the Right Pots
So just imagine that you have found a place where you can get clay pots and containers for your plants at a reasonable rate. Some are going to break to pieces by any little force or pressure applied to them. Some of them are going to crumble away by exposure to weather. Much is going to depend upon the quantity of “salt” present in the clay from which they were made.
That is why you need to test a pot before you buy it by hitting it with your fingers. A ring clear like that of a bell is going to give you a pot which is going to last uninjured for a great length of time. Buy a number of such “ringing” pots from this particular source of supply, because he knows how to give you quality material for your money.
You cannot have too many of good quality pots in your garden.
A large stock in hand of all sizes and shapes is going to be a welcome addition to your garden. These should not be allowed to lie out in the elements neglected and exposed to the weather. They should be stored away neatly somewhere undercover ready for you when wanted.
Why Re-Pot a Plant
Oh my, you say, you are taken all this trouble to plant your favorite dwarf orange tree in the container of your choice, and suddenly you find it is too small. The necessity of repotting a plant, – if the pot that it is in is not unmanageably large – may be easily determined by turning the ball of earth entirely out of the pot and examining its roots.
This needed to be re- potted someplace else.
This is done by passing the base of the stem through the middle fingers of the right hand. After that, you are going to turn the pot upside down. Now slowly knock the rim upon the top of a garden wall, or upon the edge of a table, until it can be lifted clean off by the left hand.
When plants are merely to be removed from one part into another, they are not going to suffer any sort of trauma, if this operation is done carefully. But if the plants have been dug up from a border to be potted, they are going to require some little attention to be paid to them afterwards, on account of the injury, almost of necessity done to their roots.
The best plan is to put them as soon as they are potted in a dark room during the day and bring them out in the open air at night. By this mode of treatment they are going to recover in two or three days.
Plants which have been purchased from your market gardeners or nursery men are nearly always delivered up either with their roots exposed or with the roots kneaded up in a ball of dense clay kind of earth, depending on the part of the world in which you find yourself! If the plants are potted in this condition, just as they are received, many months are going to pass before the roots will be able to overcome the clayey impediment to their free growth.
Drainage of Your Potted Plants
You cannot afford to have any sort of water stagnating in your potted plants.
There is no point in putting your precious plants in pots, with no proper drainage system. In such a case, you are soon going to have dying plants.
Also, in hot and tropical regions, you may find that the proper drainage of potted plants is getting to be ineffective. That is because you have been watering your plants every day. The soil is now dense, and compact. No water, however, liberally supplied is going to make its way down to the drainage or even to the soil for some height above it.
So it means that all the materials which you placed at the bottom of the pots such as pieces of brick, charcoal, and potsherds, failed to act in the way of drainage altogether.
I believe this book has given you plenty of useful information on how to start potting your plants. The methods which are given here use organic fertilizer, which has been used down the ages. Also plenty of the gardening methods talked about here may sound old-school, but they are time-tested and time honored.
You do not have to restrict yourself to just earthenware or clay containers in which to grow your plants. Any container which is sturdy and be used to grow plants, but I do not use metal, especially in a hot climate. In the same way, I do not use plastic, especially plastic bottles because even though they are good containers, I definitely do not trust the material of which they are made. That material is quite capable of making the soil toxic and sour.
So if you have empty land right in front of you, and you want to start on a fulfilling, and relaxing new hobby, get some pots and fill them up with plans of your choice. Who knows, you might well find yourself becoming a serious kitchen or market gardener supplying your city’s organic consumers with organically grown herbs and vegetables.
Live Long and Prosper!