The principles of organic container gardening are exactly the same as general organic gardening. That is, there must be no commercial pesticides of herbicides used and fertilizer should only be of a natural kind such as fish oil, kelp or dried manures.
The golden rule:
Feed the soil instead of the crop
is the wisdom of sustainability in shorthand. Nature has been recycling waste for billions of years in an never ending cycle of birth and decay.
Almost anything can be grown in a container if it is large enough; flowers, herbs, ornamental grasses, bulbs and vegetables - either root vegetables or leafy greens. But not all plants need large containers. Plants such as herbs or strawberries can go in quite small containers. The most important things are that it is not allowed to dry out, and the correct fertilizer is used. If you choose vegetables for your container, they must have the correct amount of sunlight - which is eight hours for many.
Organic Gardening in Plastic Pots
Much advice recommends plastic pots for organic container gardening, but is this truly organic? Perhaps is personal but it sounds like a contradiction. Making plastic has a detrimental effect on the environment. Also black plastic containers absorb a great deal more heat than lighter colored containers, and this means that the roots of the plants become too hot, which places stress on the plant.
In fact you can use almost anything to your plants in. That's part of the great landscaping possibilities of containers, so use anything from a hanging basket, a window box, or a wall planter. Or you can use a container that was not originally meant for growing plants. Hanging baskets are made from wire, lined with matting.
They tend to dry out quickly so must be watered more - twice a day in hot weather. Foam boxes and terracotta also seem to dry out, though the latter can be sealed on the inside with an appropriate sealer.
Cement containers will be heavy to move around, so make sure it is in the
correct position before you fill it up.
The best part about container gardening is that it gives the plant more protection from predators such as snails, rabbits or deer. If you keep the containers in the garden it's a great way to fill in odd spaces that may be bare looking. On the patio they add color and interest. And eating greens or other vegetables picked fresh from your container garden is so healthy.
Organic container gardening doesn't have to be all about vegetables; almost any kind of plant can be grown successfully in a container. Even miniature fruit trees can find a home in a big pot. Vines or climbers can be given a trellis to wander up. When planting in a pot, it's best to use a commercial potting mix - though choose one with no added fertilizer; it is sure to be non-organic. If ordinary garden soil is used it can clog up the drainage holes and become as hard as cement.
This can be avoided by adding one part of sand and one part compost. A little peat moss will help it hold water and prevent drying out. When you live and grow in a small apartment a composter can be to troublesome, But when you have a some space try composting. Recycling biodegradables is not difficult, especially when you combine Natures wisdom and Human ingenuity.