Have you wanted to start a garden, but concerned you don’t think you have the space? Container gardening is a great way to be able to garden in small apartments or homes that have little to no yard. Additionally, plants in containers can be used to enhance your garden, porch or patio. They offer great versatility as they can be moved to suit and the containers themselves can add to your outdoor decor. Here are 7 great container gardening tips that will allow you to get the most out of your container gardens.
The Top 7 Container Gardening Tips:
1. Use good quality containers with wide openings for best results. Cheap plastic containers can deteriorate in sunlight and wooden ones can rot over time so you might consider ceramic pots for better durability. Clay pots are good too, but they are very porous and can absorb a lot of water so be sure to check the soil often if you use a clay pot container.
2. Drainage is key – standing water will encourage root rot. Make sure your container has holes in the bottom and add some marbles or stones at the bottom too. Make sure the holes are about ½ inch and you can line the bottom of the container with newspaper or burlap to keep the soil from seeping out.
3. Use good soil – When container gardening, you want to have good soil to provide nutrients to your plant. Also, you want a loose mixture that will allow the water to be distributed evenly throughout the entire soil base as this will help with even root growth.
This is a great bagged container soil.
4. Most container plants should have around 5 hours of sunlight each day and may need to be watered each day. Make sure the soil stays moist but not wet. To test for this, just stick your finger down into the soil – is it dry down deep? Then it needs water. If it is still moist on the top or just below the top than hold off watering until tomorrow.
Tip: Setting up drip irrigation is super easy and affordable! Put your irrigation on a timer and it becomes completely automated!
5. Container size depends on what you will be growing. Vegetables are going to need big deep pots. Depending on the size and amount of plants you will have in the container, you want to choose containers that are somewhere between 15 and 120 quarts. Each plant will vary on the amount of space it will need so do some research.
6. Hanging baskets are great garden containers but you have to keep a close eye on the soil as they can tend to dry out. One way to help is to line them with sphagnum moss since this will help to keep water loss down. Also, you should try to move them out of the direct afternoon sun if possible.
7. When placing your containers in arrangements, always use different size containers and odd numbers of them. For some reason, a grouping of 3 or 5 containers will look much better than 4. If you will be putting them on a hard surface like cement or wood, place them up in bricks or blocks to help with drainage.
So what plants can you put in your containers?
There are literally thousands of different choices for plants you can grow in containers. I grow a mixture of flowers, herbs and vegetables in the majority of our containers. Just out of personal preference, all the plants that we grow on the urban farm are edible.
I find that despite common opinions that you can grow virtually anything in a pot as long as you give the plant what it needs. We have been successful growing Zucchini in a five gallon pot!
The only thing left is to grab some containers, some good quality potting soil and get to planting the perfect container garden!
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