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Patio Gardening

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 8 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Patio Gardening Container Gardening Herb

A patio garden is perfect if you don't have much space to work with, you have poor ground soil or you just want the convenience of container gardening. Just because you're gardening on a small scale doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice beauty or adventurousness.

A Mini Alpine Garden

Alpines are slow growing plants, which makes them perfect for containers such as troughs and sinks. Here's how to make a mini alpine garden.
  1. Place a layer of broken crocks in the base of the trough. This will help drainage and ensure that the roots are never sitting in water.
  2. Fill the trough with compost to within 12.5cm (5in) of the rim. As the container will be quite heavy when filled do this close to where the pot will permanently stand.
  3. Mix a few handfuls of horticultural grit into the top of the compost. This will further improve the drainage of the pot and stop the plant roots and base of stems from rotting.
  4. Place your selection of plants in the trough, ensuring that trailing types will hang over the edges. Choose a position off-centre for the conifer for a more natural effect.
  5. Plant the alpines in the compost, starting in one corner and working towards the opposite edge. Make sure that any gaps between each of the plants and the trough edges are firmly filled.

A Potted Herb Garden

Herbs add both colourful foliage and wonderful fragrance to your patio garden, not to mention that they are delicious in the kitchen. Here's how to create a simple potted herb garden of your own.
  1. Choose a large, deep bowl. Fill the base with crocks for drainage, and then cover with a layer of gritty loam-based compost.
  2. Plant any of your favourite herbs, including rosemary and chives. Fill in spaces with thyme, curry plant, oregano and parsley.
  3. Firm the compost around each plant, leaving a space between the compost and the rim of the bowl. Sow coriander to fill the gaps left.
  4. Water well, and continue to water regularly throughout the summer. Add a liquid feed once a week and keep in full sun.

Patio Vegetable Gardening

Just because you're gardening in a small space doesn't mean that you can't grow vegetables. Many vegetables are suited to growing in pots. Pot vegetable gardening makes watering and fertilising simple and protects plants during a dry season because you can easily manage to water them yourself. Vegetables that are suited to container gardens include:
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers - both chillies and capsicums
  • Cucumber
  • Aubergine
  • Lettuce
  • Pole beans
Now you've got things growing why not add a few ornamental features. Wind chimes add a nice touch to a patio garden, whether you prefer the quiet rustling of bamboo or the delicate jingle of bells. A gazing ball will also add to the charm of your patio. Several of them strategically placed can also make a small area look larger.

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