Container gardening is an excellent way to grow plants, especially if you don’t have much yard area! Consider planting in pots if you have a little gardening space or just have access to a patio, balcony, driveway, or rooftop.
Containers are an inexpensive way to add color to your yard, patio, or porch. Sure, you could put some begonias or petunias in a container and call it a day. With a little more work, though, you can create very lovely container gardens full of blooming flowers and greenery. Here’s everything you need to know to successfully grow a container garden:
Containers, like plants, have unique qualities to consider, such as weight, sensitivity to weather changes, and aesthetics. When selecting a container, keep your budget, space, and style in mind. However, bear in mind that the larger your container, the easier it will be to keep clean. The more soil that a container can hold, the more moisture it can hold. In general, avoid containers that are less than 12 inches across. When it comes to growing veggies in containers, bigger is better.
The final significant thing to consider is the material of the container. Nowadays, containers exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some container ideas are wooden, self-watering, ceramic, plastic, concrete, and metal. You can even repurpose old containers.
When selecting veggies for container gardening, go for bush or short types (also known as dwarf or compact), and make sure your environment has enough growing days for the appropriate time to mature. Vegetables that can be readily transplanted are usually excellent options since they adapt well to the potted environment.
Plant low-growers and tall climbers in the same container to optimize space and consequently harvest. Climbers will readily rush up a trellis, while tiny plants will spread around them. Plants with comparable light and water requirements, such as pole beans, radishes, and lettuce; cucumber, bush beans, and beets; tomatoes, basil, and onions; and peas and carrots, should be grouped together.
Even if you have good soil beneath your lawn, you should not utilize it for your container garden. Potted plants, especially edible plants, require a lot of nutrition, aeration, drainage, and moisture retention, which potting mix provides. Because the potting mix is soilless, it is sterile and devoid of fungus and illnesses.
The all-purpose kind is suitable for most plants but do your homework. Some plants require more drainage than a conventional potting mix can offer, while others demand a pH that is unusually high or low. Succulents, for example, require a particular cactus mix, but ferns benefit from the tropical potting mix’s high drainage.
People frequently overestimate how much sunlight their pots receive. While you can find a perfect plant for practically any quantity of light, you must first determine how much light your container will receive before selecting your plants. Place your container where you want it and time how long the sun shines on it to determine how much direct light it will receive. You may also use a sun calculator to figure out how much sunshine you get.
If you live in a hot region, you may need to shade your plants during the midday heat to keep them from overheating. Also, avoid using metal or dark-colored containers since they can grow extremely hot and fry your plant’s roots.
To avoid plants from drowning, proper drainage is essential. When there isn’t a large enough hole or holes for water to drain out of your pot, your soil becomes too wet and your plants’ roots might rot, causing the plant to die. The bad news is that many garden pots on the market lack adequate drainage.
Larger holes can typically be drilled, punched, or carved to improve drainage. For small or medium-sized pots, the minimum diameter for a drainage hole is 1/2 inch. Look for containers with at least one inch of diameter. Some argue that putting these items in the bottom of your pots eliminates the need for drainage holes.
Plants that can’t absorb oxygen from their roots can’t continue one of the most important processes that keep them alive. This is why it is critical to guarantee sufficient aeration of plant soil and why overwatering plants may be so harmful to their health. Potted plants require well-aerated soil in order to transport oxygen to their roots, but they cannot rely on nature’s aerators, such as worms and other subterranean burrowers, to make air tunnels for them.
Aerate soil in potted plants by breaking up the current soil, putting in aerating additives, switching to a permeable container, or switching to a lighter, aerated potting mix.
Many food plants, such as tomatoes, require an abundance of water. You don’t want to drown your plants, though. The idea is to keep the soil moist but not soaked.
Stick your finger about an inch into the earth to see whether your plants need water. If the soil seems dry, apply water; if you’re unsure, wait until later in the day to check. During the height of summer, you should water at least once, if not twice, every day. This is frequently the most time-consuming and crucial component of container gardening.
Most potting soil has no readily available nutrients for your plants; you must supplement them. The great majority of plants will require fertilizer to grow in your soil. A slow-release fertilizer can be mixed into potting soil. To do this, either make a large quantity of potting soil combined with fertilizer in a bucket or fill your pot with potting soil before adding the fertilizer.
Many people use commercial fertilizer, and while it may feed and help your plants develop if you start using it, you will have to keep applying it since this form of synthetic fertilizer will destroy the beneficial organisms that are present in the soil.
You may be wondering how a container garden might help you save space. When dealing with containers, you might forego the usual vertical style in favor of a stacked structure. You may grow vertically as well as outwards. Many people use this strategy to get privacy since the plants might function as a barrier between you and a nearby neighbor.
Plant stands or a shelf unit can be used to add height. Use tall and/or pedestaled pots as well. To save dirt, place a plastic pot (or many) upsides down inside the huge planter first, then fill it with soil the rest of the way.