IT IS amazing how large farms with an enormous area to plant vegetables with are also into container gardening.

I have realized though, that maybe, they have the same concept with me—that container gardens are easier to manage in all aspects.

Of course the ones I am referring are mostly advocates of organic farming like me, such as Mr. and Mrs. Henares of Buro-buro Farms, Peñalosa Farm of Victorias City, RU Foundry/May’s Organic Garden, Fresh Start Organics at Silay City, Rapha Valley at Don Salvador Benedicto and many more NGOs and POs, too.

But as I promised you last week, we will be dealing with problems regarding container gardening. Those who do it like me would be able to relate with me as far as common problems associated with container gardening. I hope I do not sound so technical here. Symptoms like the ones I am enumerating are all seen by an observant individual around.

Example:

Symptom 1: Plants are spindly and unproductive. The cause is insufficient light. The corrective measure, of course, is to move the container to area that is receiving more light. Sometime the cause is excessive nitrogen. In such case, you need to reduce feeding intervals.

Symptom 2: Plants are yellowing from bottom, lack vigor, poor color. Causes vary from excessive water to low fertility. If water is the problem, you may reduce watering intervals; check for good drainage. For low fertility, increase fertility level of base solution.

Symptom 3: Plants wilt even if sufficient water is present. The cause is poor drainage and aeration. Corrective measure is to use a potting mix containing higher percentage of organic matter. You may also increase number of holes of container for drainage.

Symptom 4: Marginal burning or firing of the leaves. Such symptom is caused by high salt. You can correct this by leaching container with tap water at regular intervals.

Symptom 5: Plants are stunted in growth; sickly, purplish in color. Causes may be low temperature or low phosphate. For low temperature, relocate container to warmer area. If the cause is low phosphate, increase phosphate level in base solution.

Symptom 6: Holes in leaves; distorted in shape. This is caused by insects. Corrective measure is to use non-chemical insecticides or the other appropriate control measures for insects.

Symptom 7: Spots on leaves of plants; dead dried areas or powdery or rusty areas. This is caused by plant disease. To correct, remove diseased areas where observed and use non-chemical pesticides.*