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Tips on having your own urban allotment/planter at home
Have you ever thought about growing and eating your own produce? Yes, we’re talking about an urban allotment or planter. Creating one at home has become one of the latest trends. The sensation of connecting with nature and picking your own home-grown fruit is hugely satisfying. Plus, a small allotment/planter can produce up to 20 kg of food per year. It is definitely a hobby that is inspiring, relaxing and fun.
In this article, we’re going to help by giving you some tips to start creating your own planter.
The first step to get to grips with is choosing the right space
Choose well. On a terrace or balcony, it’s better that they face east or west. Why? Because if it faces north it will be in the shade too much, and those facing south get too hot in the summer time. This factor can affect your plant and fruit growth. If you don’t have much light, you can create areas to boost it. Did you know that white walls increase light? This could be a solution if you have a dark space.
It’s time to buy your containers
Let our staff at Jaype help you choose the right containers for the crop or plants you want to grow. What do you need to know before you buy them?
- Investment: the amount of money you’re prepared to spend on your planter.
- Space: how much ground area you have for the planter.
- Use: the amount of time you have for your planter.
Once you’ve a good idea about these points, you should know what sort of plant pots there are:
- Plant pots with or without water reservoir: these are standard plant pots to grow vegetables in that have a water reservoir to help you with watering.
- Raffia sacks: made from a waterproof geotextile, these are very hardwearing and also light and easy to transport. They are deep enough to plant several types of vegetables.
- Planter boxes: perfect for our island. Menorca’s strong north wind can make planting difficult depending on where the allotment is located. These boxes have the additional advantage of coping better with the wind.
- Planter boxes on legs: these take a great deal of compost (we’ll talk about this factor later), and are perfect for low-lying plants that don’t grow tall. The boxes sustain temperature changes and are available in several materials.
Once you’ve chosen your containers, you’ll need to buy compost. This is essential for the successful growing of your plants, penetrating the root area and where the nutrients are absorbed and also filtering the water for growth. A good substrate compost boosts optimum growth with excellent results. The best composition is:
- 60% coconut fibre
- 40% worm humus
After this, all you have to decide is whether to: sow seeds or plant
This is the last step before your planter becomes a reality. Here at Jaype, we suggest that you start with the second option if you are not experienced, as the results are faster and more visible. Seeds take longer, requiring a more complex procedure.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with these vegetables and greens:
- Tomatoes: these grow well in any pot and produce quite a lot of fruit.
- Lettuce: they grow fast at any time of year.
- Parsley: always popular when cooking, this needs watering all year around, and easily spreads in the soil.
However, if you would prefer to sow seeds, here are some tips on what you need to do:
- Dampen the cultivation area before seeding.
- Make a small hole that is less than twice the size of the seed.
- Place 2 to 3 seeds in each hole and cover them with a light layer of compost.
- Once they have germinated, choose the strongest and discard the other two to allow it the space to grow well.
And, as with all planting, watering is essential for growth. You may recall that we’ve already mentioned watering your gardening in other posts.
Vegetable gardens are based on the time of year and weather, meaning that you don’t need to water as much in the winter or on a rainy or dull day. Over-watering can result in a loss of nutrients, affecting the development of plants and even asphyxiating them so that they die. Under-watering results is plants drying out and withering.
There are two types of watering.
- Manual: with a watering-can or hose for small allotments/planters. Water gradually to ensure that it penetrates into the soil.
- Automatic: if you want to have a slightly larger area and not worry about the watering, you can install an automatic drip feed system with a programmer. These are reasonably priced and easy to install.
So, you’ve now got your space and all the material – and all you need is to get going on your allotment/planter and see how it grows and supplies you with vegetables over time!
We hope that this article has helped to inspire you to making your own allotment/planter. Your produce will also be 100% organic, and give your terrace or balcony a new look. If you enjoyed this post and would like to learn more, follow us on our blog.