so blaise helped me get some dirt from a store called Palmers (which has an amazing restaurant called Chocolate Frog but i digress).
i had also accumulated over the last few days a large collection of empty pop bottles and juice containers of 1.5L to 3L. i have been raiding the recyling bins in the basement. every one gets a bath with boiling water to kill off nasties and i figure i'll fill them with herbs.
so with plants, rocks, dirt and containers on my balcony i was ready to go.
Step 1 - drainage
borrowing one of blaise's spare metal files i proceeded to sit outside and punch holes into the containers. the juice and milk containers were pretty easy but the larger plastic containers were thicker and required the "encouragement" of a hammer to punch through the plastic. each container was given multiple drainage holes. i'm idly wondering if i have made enough. not enough and the root rot will set in.
Step 2 - rocky bottoms
so i have been really careful and washed all my rocks i got off Lyall beach. wanted them to be salt free, bug free etc. then i carefully put a decent layer of rocks into each of my holed containers. that should help my drainage issues.
Step 3 - the dirt
we bought 2 bags of dirt, 1 standard potting mix and 1 veggie mix. the guys at the nursery suggested we not grow lettuce in the veggie mix as it would be too strong and burn the lettuce but they did suggest for container growing of tomatoes the veggie mix would ensure a good crop. so using makeshift tools (the bottom of small coke bottle) as a shovel i set to work loading the rock filled containers with dirt.
Step 4 - the plants
so then came the plants, i don't have enough containers at this point so i'm kind of restricted. i got the basil and some of the coriander in, the bay leaves, 2 romas, some of the lettuce and a couple of cherry tomatoes.
Step 5 - watering
container gardening means you need to water more often. not sure why but you need to water every day. and i don't have a watering can or a way to disperse the water in a rainspout pattern. my solution? make a dispersal mechanism.
i took the top of one of the milk containers i had cut off and took the file and punched a pile of holes into the lid. then its just a matter of pouring water through it...worked out pretty well...i was actually impressed.
oh and as a note, my drainage system works awesome!! it pours out excess water easily. success!!