GROWTH: Dishwashing gardens add visual interest both indoors and outdoors | Lifestyles

Gardeners who still want to put some soil under their fingernails during the winter months should consider dish gardening.

Dish gardens are a type of container garden, usually made up of shallow open dishes or bowls filled with several plants in a single container. Gardeners can choose to use one type of plant in a vegetable patch or add visual interest by combining a variety of plants in a single container.

A good thing about vegetable gardens is that they can be used indoors or outdoors. They are a great option for those who live in apartments and don’t have a lot of outdoor space. Another advantage is that these gardens are easily transported to a new location if a person moves.

Kitchen gardens are more than the plants in them. Be creative with the dish you choose. Sleek and modern, rustic or whatever suits your decor. Just make sure there is enough room for plants and potting soil. Succulents won’t need a container as deep as other plants because they can tolerate shallow rooting.

In addition, drainage holes are a key factor. Gravel at the bottom of the container is not recommended as it can prevent water from moving away from the roots of the plant, resulting in soggy conditions.

Also consider the material of the container and whether the vegetable garden will be indoors or outdoors. Plastic becomes brittle in the sun, and outdoor clay pots require more frequent watering.

When it comes to plant breeding, choose small, slow growing plants. It is important for the success of the vegetable garden to choose plants with similar needs for water and light. Plants with similar growing conditions have the best chance of creating a visually pleasing, low-maintenance vegetable garden.

The medium you choose in which to plant the garden will depend on the type of plants you choose. It should drain well, but also retain enough moisture and not be very fertile. Fertile soil promotes rapid growth. The fast-draining substrate contains sand, perlite, and other ingredients that speed up drainage to prevent cacti and other succulents from staying in the water for too long.

When designing the vegetable garden, plants grouped in odd numbers are often perceived as more aesthetic. Consider arranging the plants in the same way as a flower arrangement with a taller plant in the middle surrounded by smaller, bushy plants. Gardeners can get really creative by adding landscaping or figurines to represent fairy gardens, jungle environments, or model parks. You are only limited by your imagination.

David Hillock is a consumer horticulturist with the OSU cooperative extension.

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