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To Pot or Plot, a Comparison of Gardening Styles

garden flowers and title of blog to pot or plot comparison of garden styles

As with any gardening style there are benefits and drawbacks. Finding a style that suits you and your lifestyle is really important if you want to experience success in your gardening endeavors. Today we're looking at the positives and negatives of potting and plotting.

To Pot

Potting is great for anyone with a small outside space or anyone that is new to gardening. You can start with a few pots and add more as you grow in confidence.

The benefits of potting:

  • Beginner friendly

  • Pots can be moved around

  • Great for people with tiny gardens

  • Flexibility

  • Easier to keep weed free

  • Anything can be turned into a planting pot, including tin cans, teapots and boots.

Potted garden example

The drawbacks of potting:

  • Pots are smaller so you are limited on the amount you can plant

  • Due to their small size pots can experience more extreme fluctuations in temperature

  • Pots lose water quicker which means more watering

  • Plants in pots require more fertilizer than plants in the ground

Top tips for potting:

Ensure your pots have adequate drainage. Your pots should have drainage holes in the bottom. Remember to water your pots regularly. They will also need regular feeding, aim for at least two or three times per year.

Buy or use pots that are made from non-porous materials such as plastic, resin, metal or glazed ceramic. Terracotta pots lose a lot of water through the surface so are best avoided, unless you want to spend a lot of time watering.

To Plot

If you’re lucky enough to have a fairly large, full-sun outside space that has good drainage soil then planting directly into the ground may be the better option for you. In order to plot you need a fair amount of land as, unlike pots, you will be planting straight into the ground.

A plotted garden

The benefits of plotting:

  • Cheaper than having to buy lots of pots

  • Can grow more plants than in pots. Your only limit is the space you have.

  • Less watering required compared to pots

The drawbacks of plotting:

  • You need a fair amount of land

  • The soil will need to be prepared before planting

  • Regular weeding is required

  • Plot gardening requires a lot of physical exertion and bending down

Top tips for plotting:

Have a plan before you begin. You’re going to be disrupting a fair amount of land to grow your plants so have a growing plan before you begin. The ground soil will need preparing before you plant anything. You may need to add some compost to the ground to keep your plants happy. Horse manure works really well and can be a cheaper alternative as most horse owners are happy to give it to you for free.

To make the physical side of plot gardening easier for you, it’s worth investing in some good quality tools. If you struggle with kneeling then a kneeling mat or knee pads is a must for you. If you have limited mobility you may want to consider installing raised beds.

Whichever one you choose, make it unique and easy for you to help you and your garden grow together. Happy planting!

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