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Kitchen Gardening &
Containers Gardening
A Series of Lectures
By
Mr. Allah Dad Khan
Former DG Agriculture
Extension KPK , ...
• Containers will offer the
joy of growing plants in
an area where
traditional gardening is
impossible, e.g where
space is...
• One can also grow different
plant species in one single
container in ecological
relationships. Container
gardening makes...
• Taking good care of it
will result in a beautiful
and functional display,
but whenever deciding
to give it a try: start
...
Who is who in container
gardening?
• Many people are
directly interested in
container gardening:
• People in desert-like
a...
Benefits and advantages of
container gardening
• As container gardening can
be practiced anywhere,
benefits and advantages...
Choice of containers
• Almost any type of
container can be used for
growing plants: flower
pots, planter boxes, pails,
buc...
Choice of containers
• Containers can be
purchased, built or recycled
from all kinds of materials,
even plastic bottles or...
Choice of containers
• Consider the following
guidelines when choosing your
container:
• Generally, avoid containers with
...
Choice of containers
• Hanging baskets, often made of
wood or wire, can drizzle onto
furniture or the floor.
• Metal conta...
• Drainage is very important. Every
container should have holes at the
base or in the bottom to permit
drainage of excess ...
• Line hanging baskets with
sphagnum moss for water
retention. Keep baskets away
from heavy sun. When filled
with moist so...
Saucers
• Except in cases where the containers
are standing on normal soil, all types
of containers need a saucer to
colle...
Growing media
• Outside garden soil should preferably
not be used, because it is mostly too
heavy, compacting when drying ...
• You can also mix your own: one part
loamy garden soil, one part peat
moss, one part coarse (sharp) sand,
and a slow-rele...
• Filling the container
• When filling a
container, leave at
least a 5 cm (2 inch)
space between the
top of the soil and
t...
Seed Germination
• Seeds can be germinated in any container
filled with a good substrate. As they retain
moisture more con...
• A plastic wrap over the container
keeps its moisture level stable. Seeds
are sensitive to over-watering or
under-waterin...
Seedlings and
transplantation
• Seedlings may need to be
hardened off or acclimated to
direct sunlight and changing
temper...
Planting in containers
• Plant at the same
time as in a regular
garden. After
planting, water the
soil gently. Should
stak...
Sunlight
• The amount of light the
container plants will need
varies with the plant
species. It will determine
which crops...
Fertilizing the containers
• After the first month of growth,
add a diluted organic fertilizer
(manure tea or compost tea,...
• Watering
• Container gardening is an excellent
way of gardening to control and
maximize water usage, but pots and
contai...
• Plastic containers (bottles and bags)
retain the water longer.
• When plants mature, their root
system expands and requi...
Plant species for container
gardening
• Generally, small
crops, which have a
quick maturing
period, are ideal, and
compact...
Diseases and Insects
• Plants grown in
containers can be
attacked by various
types of insects and
infected with diseases
t...
46.Kitchen gardening and containers gardening  A Series of Lectures By Mr. Allah Dad Khan Former DG Agriculture Extensi...
46.Kitchen gardening and containers gardening  A Series of Lectures By Mr. Allah Dad Khan Former DG Agriculture Extensi...
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46.Kitchen gardening and containers gardening A Series of Lectures By Mr. Allah Dad Khan Former DG Agriculture Extension KPK , Provincial Project Director CMP II MINFAl Islamabad and Visiting Professor the University of Agriculture Peshawar Pakistan

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A Series of Lectures By Mr. Allah Dad Khan Former DG Agriculture Extension KPK , Provincial Project Director CMP II MINFAl Islamabad and Visiting Professor the University of Agriculture Peshawar Pakistan

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46.Kitchen gardening and containers gardening A Series of Lectures By Mr. Allah Dad Khan Former DG Agriculture Extension KPK , Provincial Project Director CMP II MINFAl Islamabad and Visiting Professor the University of Agriculture Peshawar Pakistan

  1. 1. Kitchen Gardening & Containers Gardening A Series of Lectures By Mr. Allah Dad Khan Former DG Agriculture Extension KPK , Provincial Project Director CMP II MINFAl Islamabad and Visiting Professor the University of Agriculture Peshawar Pakistan
  2. 2. • Containers will offer the joy of growing plants in an area where traditional gardening is impossible, e.g where space is limited, like in urban areas, one can grow plants anywhere: on a windowsill, a doorstep, a balcony, a stair or a patio, even a rooftop, in hanging baskets or in old buckets. They all can provide enough space for an attractive and even productive (e.g. for vegetables) display.
  3. 3. • One can also grow different plant species in one single container in ecological relationships. Container gardening makes observation easy and, whenever necessary, containers can easily be moved around. They can be positioned as screens, serve as windbreaks, brighten a room or create shade. • A well-planned container garden can be attractive (ornamentals) as well as useful (vegetables, fruits, herbs), e.g. to produce fresh food in the dry lands or to combat desertification. • Vegetable production in plastic bottles
  4. 4. • Taking good care of it will result in a beautiful and functional display, but whenever deciding to give it a try: start small. • Smaller gardens result in lower costs. Initial costs for container gardening may be a bit higher, but once all the necessary materials are purchased, costs are extremely limited: less growing medium, less fertilizer, fewer plants. • Container gardening is only limited by lack of imagination. •
  5. 5. Who is who in container gardening? • Many people are directly interested in container gardening: • People in desert-like areas or in the dry lands. • People without garden space or with bad soil in their garden. • Urban people living in apartments or studios. • People with limited time for gardening. • Elderly or disabled people with limited mobility. • Flowers or herb lovers.
  6. 6. Benefits and advantages of container gardening • As container gardening can be practiced anywhere, benefits and advantages are extremely diverse: • It helps saving irrigation water (water conservation). • It avoids a lot of hosing and weeding (time and labor saving). • It enables gardening on all floors of apartment blocks and high buildings. • It avoids competition with wildlife. • Container gardens are close to the kitchen (fresh homegrown herbs). • Possibility to intersperse containers with food crops and flowering plants (repelling insects). • Easy to create good looking spaces (esthetics).
  7. 7. Choice of containers • Almost any type of container can be used for growing plants: flower pots, planter boxes, pails, buckets, bushel baskets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes, drums, nursery flats, gallon cans, window planters, washtubs, strawberry pots, tubs, plastic bottles and bags, large food cans, an old discarded wheelbarrow with soil and drain holes in the bottom or any number of other things. •
  8. 8. Choice of containers • Containers can be purchased, built or recycled from all kinds of materials, even plastic bottles or plastic bags. It is always important to choose containers that best accommodate the chosen plant species. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. The choice will depend upon the type of plant and the location. The size of the container will vary according to the crop selection and space available. Keep in mind that the size, material and shape of the container should be conducive to your plant’s health.
  9. 9. Choice of containers • Consider the following guidelines when choosing your container: • Generally, avoid containers with narrow openings. • Plastic containers are lighter weight, but can become brittle in lower temperatures or they may deteriorate in UV of the sunlight. They are not porous and keep water over a longer period, but this may be an advantage in dry areas (see vegetable production in desert- like regions or in the dry lands). • Terracotta containers are porous, but heavy; they break easily and tend to dry out more rapidly. • Glazed ceramic pots require several drainage holes. • Wooden containers can be built to sizes and shapes suiting the location. However, many are susceptible to rot. Redwood and cedar are relatively rot resistant.
  10. 10. Choice of containers • Hanging baskets, often made of wood or wire, can drizzle onto furniture or the floor. • Metal containers heat up rapidly which can cause root damage. Using a clay or plastic pot as a liner can help. • Wrought-iron stands can minimize wood rot. • Window boxes are usually made of wood or plastic. • Stone containers create a natural effect, are often difficult to move and break easily. • Sunken containers work well for plants that spread easily. One can either bury the whole container or embed the rim to restrain the plant. • Use containers with sufficient capacity, according to the size and number of plants to be grown in them. Small pots restrict the root area and dry out very quickly. Deep- rooted vegetables require deeper containers. For larger vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants, use a five- gallon container for each plant.
  11. 11. • Drainage is very important. Every container should have holes at the base or in the bottom to permit drainage of excess water, to prevent waterlogged soil and rotting roots. Waterlogged containers always end up with root rot. Line their base with a layer of coarse gravel, a piece of newspaper, a sheet of plastic etc. to prevent soil loss through the drainage hole. Any kind of feet under the container allows water to drain out. Place it on brick feet or blocks to allow free drainage or place a saucer under them to catch excess drainage and empty the saucer regularly. • Dark colored containers absorb more heat, which can damage the plant roots and make it difficult for them to thrive. Paint them a lighter color or shade the container. In hot climates, use light-colored containers to lessen heat absorption and discourage uneven root growth.
  12. 12. • Line hanging baskets with sphagnum moss for water retention. Keep baskets away from heavy sun. When filled with moist soil, weight of the container can be a negative factor. When installing a large container, mount it on castors so that it can be moved easily. • Likewise, consider the shape of the container because some pots can pose problems. A round pot in the form of a ball is fine for growing all kinds of plants, but at the end of the growing season, when it’s time to remove the plant from the pot, that is often easier said than done. When the plant’s roots grow into the wider portion of the pot, it’s difficult to get the plant out of the pot without severing the roots,
  13. 13. Saucers • Except in cases where the containers are standing on normal soil, all types of containers need a saucer to collect the loose potting soil and dripping water that escapes from the bottom. Pour the collected water into a reservoir for future watering, because it contains nutrients. • Most plants prefer to be watered from the top down rather than wick the water up from below through the drainage hole(s). When excess water drains out of the container, spaces open up in the potting soil and air fills those spaces. It activates the microbiological activities in the soil, which helps to make nutrients available to plant roots. • When the top of the container dries, the surface of the potting soil tries to pull moisture up from the bottom of the pot, but rarely does it all the way up to the top. So if only watering from the bottom, using a saucer full of water, it will never flush the soil. This can lead to accumulation of salt deposits on the container wall.
  14. 14. Growing media • Outside garden soil should preferably not be used, because it is mostly too heavy, compacting when drying and then pulling away from the container wall. Heavy soils normally have high clay content and a low permeability, which makes them slow to absorb water. Once wet, they drain poorly. They are slow to dry out, insufficiently aerated and plants may not thrive in them (lack of oxygen for root respiration). • Peat-based mixes, containing peat and vermiculite, are excellent. They are relatively sterile and pH adjusted. They also allow the plants to get enough air and water. Some gardeners do not recommend peat, because it is getting overexploited. • Commercial potting mixes are relatively lightweight, but often slightly acidic; adding some lime may help to grow certain plant species (soil test: pH around 6.5-7.0).
  15. 15. • You can also mix your own: one part loamy garden soil, one part peat moss, one part coarse (sharp) sand, and a slow-release fertilizer (14-14- 14) in the right dosage per volume. Some gardeners do not recommend peat moss (environmental concern), but compost. I would certainly recommend to use a small dosage of the TerraCottem soil conditioner to enhance the water retaining capacity an the nutrient content of the growing medium. TerraCottem also contains root stimulating agents, which make the plants growing better, even in very dry conditions. Synthetic “soil” suits very well for vegetable container gardening. This mix may contain a number of different materials: peat moss, sawdust, wood chips, coir (coconut fibers), bark products, perlite, vermiculite, … • According to many gardeners a “soilless” potting mix (from a garden center) works best for container gardening. It drains quickly, is lightweight, designed specifically to deter insects and soil- borne diseases and is free from weed seeds.
  16. 16. • Filling the container • When filling a container, leave at least a 5 cm (2 inch) space between the top of the soil and the top of the container for adding some mulch (container should be about four-fifths full). Make it 10 cm (4 inches) for plants that need a lot of watering. When watering the container, the growing medium (substrate) will settle.
  17. 17. Seed Germination • Seeds can be germinated in any container filled with a good substrate. As they retain moisture more consistently, plastic containers are preferable to clay ones. All containers should be clean (free of pathogens, by soaking them in a 10 percent bleach solution for 15 minutes and letting them air dry). • Wide, shallow containers prevent both overcrowding of seedlings and too much moisture around the young roots. Sow in small, individual containers when seedlings are resenting root disturbance when transplanted. Commercial trays, but also recycled plastic containers, e.g. yoghurt or butter tubs, will do the job, after poking holes in the bottom for drainage. • Once sown, the seeds should be evenly covered with a fine planting medium to the depth of two times the seed diameter, e.g. 0.5–1.5 cm (1/4 inch to 1/2 inch) for good germination. Very small seeds and light requiring ones (like grass seeds) should lie on the surface. Each seed must be in firm contact with the moist substrate to enable germination. Use any flat object or your fingers to gently tamp down the surface of the substrate.
  18. 18. • A plastic wrap over the container keeps its moisture level stable. Seeds are sensitive to over-watering or under-watering and heavy watering can disturb newly germinated seedlings. Should additional watering of a container be necessary, place it in a basin with 5-8 cm (2 to 3 inches) of warm water and allow the substrate to pick up moisture from the bottom. As soon as the seeds germinate, the plastic wrap should be removed. • Seedling production should always be started in a warm room with sufficient sunlight. Most seeds will germinate best with 12 to 16 hours of light each day. Place seed containers in a south facing place and give the container a quarter turn each day to prevent seedlings from overreaching toward the light. • Many seed species need rather high temperatures to germinate. If needed, install the seed containers) close to a heater or on a windowsill under which a radiator of central heating sits to raise the ambient temperature.
  19. 19. Seedlings and transplantation • Seedlings may need to be hardened off or acclimated to direct sunlight and changing temperatures by placing them in direct sunlight during the morning only of the first day, then increasing gradually their time outside. It may take 4 to 8 weeks before transplantation date into the final container. • Easily transplantable vegetables are very suitable for container gardening. Seedlings are available in local garden centers or nurseries, or they can be grown at home. Most vegetable seedlings should be transplanted after developing their first two to three leaves. Transplanting must be carried out carefully to avoid injuring the young roots.
  20. 20. Planting in containers • Plant at the same time as in a regular garden. After planting, water the soil gently. Should stakes or other supports be needed, provide them when the plants are very small to avoid later root damage.
  21. 21. Sunlight • The amount of light the container plants will need varies with the plant species. It will determine which crops can be grown. Leafy vegetables (lettuce, parsley, spinach, cabbage,) tolerate shady places, while root crops (radish, turnip, beetroot,) and fruiting vegetables (tomato, peppers, cucumber, eggplant,) need more sun. Most plants require a minimum of 5-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Some gardeners use reflective materials, like aluminum foil or white- painted surfaces (even glass or marble chips) around containers to increase somewhat the available light.
  22. 22. Fertilizing the containers • After the first month of growth, add a diluted organic fertilizer (manure tea or compost tea, seaweed extract) when watering. One can apply such a diluted fertilizer every two weeks and adjust fertilizer levels as necessary, but remember to provide the plants with a variety of nutrients (mineral and organic, also trace elements). Follow the recommended rate of any fertilizer to avoid fertilizer burn by lack of soil volume. • It is advisable to leach all the unused fertilizer out of the soil mix by thoroughly watering all containers with tap water to prevent buildup of injurious materials in the soil mix. This is already avoided with TerraCottem in the growing medium, because TerraCottem absorbs the excess of nutrients and keeps them available for plant roots.
  23. 23. • Watering • Container gardening is an excellent way of gardening to control and maximize water usage, but pots and containers always require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. • Small pots and porous containers, such as those made of clay, terracotta or wood, dry out very quickly; they have to be watered more frequently or one has to create shade for them. Because the volume of soil is relatively small, proper watering (generally once a day) is essential for successful container gardening. In an exposed location, container plants loose moisture very quickly by heating or wind. So do larger plants. Not all plants need to be watered at the same frequency. Some prefer even drier conditions, like succulents and cacti, which may go several days or even weeks without watering. Water should reach air temperature before applying it to temperature sensitive plants. •
  24. 24. • Plastic containers (bottles and bags) retain the water longer. • When plants mature, their root system expands and requires more and more water. Judge the need for water of the containers every day • If the potting mix is getting dry every day (check the soil mix daily in warm temperatures; it should be moist 2-3 cm or 1 inch deep), group the containers together so that all leaves create a sort of canopy shading the soil and keeping it cooler. Mulching the containers with grass or gravel pebbles and installing windbreaks helps to reduce moisture loss by evaporation. • If possible, water late in the day to reduce the hydric stress on the plants. Soak the potting soil very well and water again a bit later. The first watering usually leaves dry cavities within the potting mix, while the second watering fills them. • Wetting the leaves should be avoided since that can cause leaf diseases.
  25. 25. Plant species for container gardening • Generally, small crops, which have a quick maturing period, are ideal, and compact varieties of normally large plants perform better, but vertical “climbers” also adapt quite well to container conditions, but they require more space because of their vining growth. Quick- growing small herbs and leaf lettuces can be planted around larger fruiting vegetables.
  26. 26. Diseases and Insects • Plants grown in containers can be attacked by various types of insects and infected with diseases that are common to any other type of garden. Plants should be periodically inspected for the presence of foliage and fruit-feeding insects, as well as for the occurrence of diseases

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