Tips for getting started with Container Gardening

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New to container gardening? Read these tips for starting your first container garden and the easiest plants to grow in containers.

Why would you grow plants in containers, instead of planting them straight in the garden? Let’s look at some of the benefits.

If you don’t have adequate space for your garden or if you don’t have good soil, then consider container gardening.

Getting started with container gardening can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.

In a nutshell, all you need for a container garden is a selection of plants, a few containers, the proper growing soil, fertilizer, water, and sunny place. Then you’re on your way to the first crop of vegetables or flowers.

Growing plants in containers don’t need to take a lot of time. It does though require that you pay attention to your plants almost daily.

Choosing the perfect container is an essential step to ensure your plants blossom and flourish. Your plants will need plenty of care because basically, the odds are against them.

There is not that much soil for your plants in the container to gain water and nutrients. Your plants might suffer from drying wind, the burning sun, and the freezing cold if they are not well protected.

Choose a container according to your own style and taste. Roots of the plants will grow in anything that contains soil. You’re only limited by your own imagination.

You can pick ornamental containers, adding to your plant’s charm. Mix containers to suit your impulse. Match them to your decorating style.

However, consider these questions before deciding on a container:

  • What is the plant’s mature size?
  • What is the growth rate?
  • What is the root structure?

Advantages of Container Gardening

There are lots of advantages to growing plants in pots or containers. For people with limited garden space, growing plants in containers may be the only way to go. But even people with a large backyard should consider it. There’s no weeding, less chance of soil-borne plant diseases and critters are less likely to be able to eat your vegetables. Also, many people just have lousy soil for gardening, and you can buy great soil for pots.

Growing plants in containers can be really rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Knowing the basics before you start can give you the best chances for success.

Plants in containers can help you make the most of a short amount of space.

If you live in a condo, you can’t operate a full garden, just because you don’t have a backyard. I think that one of the best answers for this situation is to grow plants in containers. You can incorporate plants in containers in your living areas. You can arrange them on your patio, windowsill or balcony, or you can hang them. Place containers near windows or seating areas, so that they are best displayed. Place herbs and fragrant flowers near walkways in raised planters, so you can savor their scents as you pass by. Just a few pots, and your living area will look much beautiful.

A benefit of growing in containers

A benefit of small containers is that you can move them around to suit your needs. If you rearrange your furniture, it’s no trouble to move your plants as well. Your plants don’t mind the transition, as long as the lighting is about the same.

Containers are portable. Rearrange the design as you wish. Move plants to a protected place during cold weather.

Versatility is another benefit of the containers. Build upon the soil you fill it, and where you place it, it can simulate any environment.

Vertical gardening

If you are trying to make an aesthetic arrangement of plants and containers, you can adjust them to be at various heights. You can put them on supports, or hang them from the ceiling.

Hanging them allows you to make the most use of the space. This is called vertical gardening. You can make a charming composition of plants while saving area.

If you live in a condo, it is important to save space! You can even use wooden step ladders as a form of vertical gardening. Paint the ladders accordingly, and arrange plants on it in a beautiful, stylish cascade of color.

The maintenance of container plants

Container plants take slightly more time to maintenance. You have to go around to each individual container, and water them more often.

The time spent on taking care and watering is more balanced, since the area for containers is less than an actual garden. It is vital that you don’t over-water your container plants. It can be just as fatal to their health as under-watering.

Choosing containers

When choosing containers for your plants, a good idea is to buy them all at once along with some extras. These extras because containers might break, or you want to add more weeds later.

They don’t need to be the same shape and size, but definitely, the same style might be useful, so that they endorse each other. For inside use plastic containers are the best. They require the least amount of watering. If you want to stick with earthen or clay pots, then pad the inside with plastic. As clay will soak up water, plastic helps it retain water better.

Size of the container

When buying pots or containers remember that the size of the pot will ultimately limit the scope of the plant. Make a deliberate choice of pots according to what you wish to grow in them. When you look for the plants on the internet, you should be able to find specs on how much space the roots need.

You can use this also as a benefit if you have limited space. You can limit the growth of a large plant by selecting a pot that isn’t large enough to support that growth.

Plants to Grow in Containers

You can take care of the needs of unique plants, like placing the sun-loving tomatoes in containers on your south-facing deck, and so on.

You can grow plants that aren’t hardy enough in your region. You can overwinter somewhat hardy plants in a shielded spot. Bring tender plants to the warmth of indoors for the winter.

Plants usually adapt well to growing in containers. Some plants even do better in containers than they do if they were planted right in the garden. For example, in climates with cooler summers, heat-loving plants like eggplants and peppers succeed in containers, because the container and soil are warmed by the sun.

Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in Containers

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Many herbs (like Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Thyme)
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

The best plants for the hanging garden container are:

  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce
  • Herbs
  • Spinach

If the benefits of container gardening sound interesting to you, then you should start planning out your container garden. Write down a list of all the plants you want to have, and then check what size containers or pots you should get for them. After that, it’s just a matter of organizing them in a way that makes your home the most pleasant.

Enjoy your container garden!

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Top tips to maintain container gardens

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Container gardens are need of the hour. Space is definitely a luxury in our urban lifestyle. Besides space advantage, containers are simple and fun. For starters, the container garden plants are placed in pots rather than in the ground.

Drill drainage holes

According to current practices, consider having four holes at the bottom of the container. It ensures even and effective drainage. Otherwise the plant doesn’t have access to moisture below the ground. When there are no bottom holes, they dry very quickly. If the container you purchased doesn’t have holes, drill them yourself. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take away the need for consistent watering.

Use potting soil

Ensure you get potting soil for your plant. Provide pots with toppings throughout the season. Your regular soil doesn’t fulfill drainage requirements. The plants will feel lack of nutrients too. Potting soil provides the environment where the potted plant can thrive. With the right soil and large pot, you can even keep plants that are not native to the land. When you have no access to potting soil, develop homemade compost.

Ambient three layer formula

Container garden can be ambient too. It doesn’t have to be only purposeful. Follow a three layer formula that helps create ambience. Firstly place the taller plant right in the middle. Use shorter plant types to place around the taller plant. It can be something that fills the pot and visually contrast the taller plant.

To just fill things up till the edges, add light color vines at the outer ring. It results in a robust and complete looking container. Consider the light and water requirements of the plant. It varies from species to species. Along with spacing details it is provided in the plant purchase tag. If not, consult with a practicing horticulturist.

Outdoor & Indoor

Place your container in a place, where you will sit and relax. These containers can go outdoors as well as indoors. When placing indoors, ensure they are close to the window and receive adequate sunlight. In the case of outdoors, it’s necessary to protect them from cold and drying winds. While keeping them on top of wooden decks, use saucers or other plastic surface to protect the wood beneath it.

Understand colors

You container garden should suit your space. It should reflect your style and go along with the overall ambience. It involves some mix and match of colors, to perfect the visual scene. For instance, green and white gives a subtle classy look. Brighter colors provide for a dynamic setting.

Practical benefits

You don’t have to totally overlook the practical benefits of container garden. Plant something that you can eat. People often plant herbs and vegetables in containers. It allows getting fresh vegetables straight to table. When dealing with vegetable plants, ensure they get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. South or west facing locations are preferred. There is a preferred type of container for different vegetables. For instance, potatoes grow best in large pots or specifically designed sacs.

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