Planning a Smart Pot Garden
Have you heard the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”? That adage is especially true when it comes to planting a garden. If a gardener wants to grow fruits, flowers, herbs or vegetables, they’ll find a way to make it happen.
With a combination of Smart Pots fabric containers and a few hours of sunshine a day, it’s possible to grow a garden just about anywhere. Whether on a rooftop, balcony, patio, deck, porch, front stoop or alleyway, all it takes is a little planning to get your garden growing.
Plan for Sunshine
No matter what you want to grow in your garden, you’ll need to plan for at least a few hours of sunshine a day. If you want to grow most flowers and warm-season vegetables, you’ll need about 8 hours of sunlight; herbs and cool-season edibles will grow with less sunshine.
The easiest way to find the best spot for your plot is to do a simple sun survey. This method uses paper, pencil and three observations over the course of one day.
The ideal time to take a sun survey is in early- to mid-spring, when trees are starting to leaf out and when you’re able to see the path of the sun as it crosses your preferred planting area. Draw the outline of your planting space on a piece of paper and include shade trees or other shade-producing features.
Then observe the area at 8:00 a.m., 12 noon, and 4:00 p.m. After each observation draw a circle on the paper to show the area of sunlight. Where the three circles intersect is the place in the yard that receives the most direct sunlight.
With this survey you can prioritize your planting space. Fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and melons will prefer the sunniest spot.
Other vegetables and culinary herbs will do just fine growing with less sunlight or in partial shade. This list includes lettuce, kale, spinach, radish, bush beans, peas, carrots, beets, green onions, turnips Swiss, chard and many herbs.
Plan for Smart Pots
The next step is matching the Smart Pot container to what you want to grow. Fortunately, there’s a pot to fit every spot. Small-space gardens can fit a number of different sizes of round Smart Pots, liners for square milk crates or two kinds of Wall Flower hanging containers for vertical gardening.
For larger areas, the round Big Bag Beds offer a way to place a raised bed in the middle of the yard or the rectangular Long Beds provide planting options along fences and walls. Placement is unlimited, depending on your garden vision.
Plan for Irrigation
Every Smart Pot garden will need some type of irrigation to keep plants watered. Many gardeners prefer to hand-water with a hose or watering can; others like the convenience of a raised bed irrigation system like the Smart Pot Bed Wetter slow drip watering system. For the healthiest garden, avoid using sprinklers that spray plant leaves instead of watering at soil level.