17 Jul Container Gardening Tip #2-Storage
Another fun challenge with container, rooftop or patio gardens is storage. As packing supplies and potting soil up the stairs can be not only be a daunting process, but bad for your back, it is time to think outside the roof.
Some patios or roofs, even with apartments, have a closet outside. If so, take advantage of that to store your gardening supplies. In our case, we have a built-in closet against the wall. It has a heavy slide door across which protects contents from the stormy weather that we often receive here in the northwest.
Planting material is an issue but if you think and plan ahead, you can save yourself a lot of hassle. Hire a muscle man or other help for the day and take the supplies that you will need to your container area in the beginning of the season. Take comfort in the fact that once the material is there, you can use many of the items year after year.
Garbage cans make good storage for dirt if you have room. So do large Rubbermaid containers. Another option I’ve seen is a home-made wooden bin with a lid on hinges. Either way, with most of the dirt already in your area, you can add in your compost and stir to create your own mix.
Have an empty garbage can on hand as well. Secure it in the winter. Before planting the next season, dump the dirt from some of last year’s pots into the empty one, add dirt from your home-made mix bin, add compost, stir with a shovel and replant.
If you need a tabletop, see if someone can fashion one that comes down from your wall on hinges and can be locked up and out of the way when not in use. Or buy a wall-mounted, fold up table or bench.
If you use rocks for setting plants in containers, get a bag to your space when you have the muscles available. The rocks can stay in their bag or go in a bucket or plastic container with a lid. Same with fertilizer. Label everything.
Keep a stiff broom and dustpan available in the area to quickly clean up dirt spills. A stiff broom also works well to move water from the surface of the deck/roof as needed.
Secure anything that is light (i.e. not filled with dirt) or weight it down. Especially if you have a roof garden. It’s not fun to wake up at night thinking that you have people rolling all over your roof when the wind is whipping in for a chill-down.