Container Gardening Tips

Container gardening offers hope for those with a green thumb who lack the outdoor space traditionally required to plant a garden. Learn five easy tips on how to successfully grow vegetables and flowers in your container garden.

Container Gardening Tips

Container gardening allows virtually anyone to grow flower, vegetables and other plants. Whether you have a deck, a patio or just a windowsill, you can enjoy the great indoors this growing season. These container gardening tips will help ensure your success.

Don't scrimp on soil quality.

Plants grown in containers have less access to nutrients. They can not simply extend their roots to find better soil. Instead, these plants depend on the gardener to provide a rich, healthy soil. Use a professional-grade potting soil or create your own by combining one part builder's sand, one part perlite and two parts peat.

Keep plants grouped by similar growing conditions.

Some plants grow well in together in the same container, but be careful not to mix those with different growing condition requirements. If you put a sun-loving plant with one that requires shade, both plants will not survive the season. Don't squish plants together in pots just to save money on containers. This will backfire, leaving you with plant in poor health and plenty of time and money down the drain.

Check plants daily for adequate moisture.

Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. In extremely hot or windy weather, daily or even more frequent watering may be necessary. If you overdo it though, plant roots become bogged down in water. This results in poor plant growth and increases the risk of disease and insect infestation. Ensure good drainage by using only containers with holes in the bottom. If you want to use a container that doesn't have holes, drill three or four holes in the bottom before filling it with potting soil.

Add mulch to the mix.

Topdress each container with about an inch of organic mulch. This makes nutrients readily available while improving water retention and keeping soil at a cool and even temperature. Take this extra layer of mulch into account when planting to avoid overfilling the pot with soil. Leave at least 2 to 3 inches at the top of the pot. This provides room for the mulch without causing the pot to overflow during watering.

Choose the right location.

Just because you have a container garden doesn't mean you can plant absolutely anything. If the only space you have to set out a container garden is on a small patio next to a large shade tree, your options will be limited. Look for creative ways to produce the desired conditions for your container garden. Window boxes and hanging baskets work well to get some of those plants out in the sun.

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