Friday, February 06, 2009

Indoor Gardening 3

Indoor Gardening three

Stacked pots is the word I use to refer the the artful towers on my windowsills. You have to have a saucer below indoor pots to catch the water. The watering is theoretically done from the very top pot.

I prefer large containers for saucers, the width of the window sill or a little larger, depending on traffic flow by the window. (My sills are 5” wide. Four inches wide on the the replacement window.) I have collected long trays and containers for saucers, but am not above using plastic organic greens containers (recycle number 1).

My containers are a collection of discards and art fair spectaculars. I find plastic containers that can be cut down in my neighbors recycling bins, as the container industry gets creative, recycling containers are gold mines. I have found long narrow plastic things that work, at garden centers.

Pots for the stacking can be plastic (although if I am growing food, I am mindful of bisphenol A, and there are probably other nasty things leaking from the plastics) or ceramic, they must be the right size in order to drain into the containers below. Plastics are nice for shaping and putting holes in. (note to self: cultivate relationship with local ceramics makers, design stackable pots) Smaller pots fit on top of the ones below. Roots from the small pots often grow into the ones below. Trimming your bonsai roots etc. in spring is literally a snap, when the pots take their summer vacation outside, they are moved and usually decoupled.

I often have stacked pots in the pot-place in the back yard. Particularly in large pots, I put seeds around the sides of pots, so as to leave a place in the middle. A mistake I have made is to smother seeds planted at the middle by putting a potted plant on the top of them.

Filling vacant places in the garden, places that have no current blooms or interest, can be done by moving pots. I move things around, especially for areas in transition, see what works where.

I have already mentioned the plastic v. ceramic issue. I love old garbage cans, and they are mostly plastic now, for growing potatoes and sweet potatoes. It is a nice sight when things cascade out of the top. Pots on downtown streets often use manzanita, or sweet potato, just for looks. I also like to use tall garbage cans in the far ends of the garden where the ground hogs think they own the place and eat young cucerbits, greens, beans , pretty much everything but tomatoes and nightshades. Ceramic and cement containers are heavy. I have a few garden carts and some saucers with wheels, but love plastic pots for their weight.

Pots of any type add another dimension to growing and living with plants. Stacking them is great, adding space to small spaces. Those who have no windowsills may put hangers or shelves by their windows.


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