CD Designs Blog
A well designed, beautifully implemented pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio can make a wonderful statement on the exterior of your property and bring the whole design together, providing a perfect focal point for all the surrounding elements. Concrete is not good for all purposes however, and one way in which it falls down is plant life. There are not many varieties of flora that thrive on concrete, especially not edible crops or pretty flowers. You’ll be more likely to get unsightly, stringy weeds and grasses growing in the cracks, which just looks ugly and can eventually cause damage if not kept in check.
To create any useful produce, a more controlled, measured approach is required. This can be remarkably simple: there are many varieties of fruit and vegetables that grow in containers. With just a little bit of guidance, you’ll soon be growing a wonderful modular edible garden on your driveway or patio, without taking up much space!
The containers: As a rule of thumb, you should think about the eventual maximum size of your crops, and choose a pot for each one that is big enough to fit that. Think downwards as well as upwards and outwards – some plants, especially root vegetables will need a much deeper pot, while plants that grow taller such as tomatoes will need a heavy pot to support them. Terracotta pots are heavier and therefore more supportive than plastic pots, and they are also a lot more attractive and will fit in to your design better. They are also more expensive and likely to absorb moisture and dry out your compost and soil more quickly (although this can be got around with a plastic lining).
The crops: There are many varieties to choose from when growing in pots: sweet peppers, chilli peppers, aubergines, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, herbs and more. You should give a little bit of thought to choosing compact or trailing plants, rather than ones that grow up high and could risk getting blown over. For the biggest variety and best results, grow from seed rather than just buying ready grown plants, but follow the instructions on that packet well – different plants will require different varieties of soil and different amounts of compost and water.
Aftercare: Most pot plants are fairly low maintenance. You just need to feed and water them regularly, keep leafy plants productive and compact by pruning and removing flowers often, and support plants with heavy fruit (such as aubergines) with canes.
Images by thomas pix
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21st May 2011