As many gardening gurus, books and videos will tell you- there are lots of tips and tricks to growing food successfully. Choosing the right spot, planting the right crop for the right conditions at the right time, sun, water and nutrients are all important.
Maybe more then any other mistake however, Edible Eden is seemingly always fixing people's gardens and containers that have been built without adequate drainage.
Whether we are talking about a raised bed built with heavy duty tarp material underneath it, planter boxes with no holes in the bottom, or decorative clay containers that have not been drilled through- people everywhere try to grow in containers that don't have enough drainage.
This is not rocket science folks- if the water cannot get out the bottom of whatever you are trying to grow in...the plant will not thrive. Plant roots need to be able to take up nutrients and water from the soil, but that same water becomes a killer if it can't move through the soil and drain away. Without drainage holes, that water sits in the container creating anaerobic conditions and rotting the plants' roots. Very few plants can survive such conditions and even if they don't die they will be stunted and weak.
Recently we re-did seven hefty deck boxes that had been built solidly with a complete lack of drainage holes. This means we had to remove anything planted there, take out all the soil, drill holes, lay in gravel and then replace all the soil. This is a big job and can get expensive if you are hiring someone else to do it! It's so much easier to make sure your containers and beds have appropriate drainage before filling them with soil and plants.
If you are planning a new garden or getting ready to plant some containers make sure to contact Edible Eden for an initial consultation so we can make sure it's done right the first time!