Not everyone has access to a large yard for gardening. Whether you live in an apartment or a small suburb with limited yard space, you may feel that you have no options for gardening. Fortunately, that isn't the case! Container gardening is a fantastic solution to the problem of gardening without a lot of space.
Container gardening can also be relevant to those with larger yards that can sustain a true garden. If you live in an area that doesn't stay warm year-round, you may need to bring some of your plants indoors in the fall. Container gardening's principles apply here to you, too.
And, of course, everyone loves having some indoor plants for décor. Container gardening is highly flexible and can meet a variety of needs. Regardless of what you want to do with your plants, planting them in the right container with the right methods will help them flourish.
We've taken the time today to compile a full guide on container gardening. We'll walk you through everything you need to know and do. No overly complicated explanations or long paragraphs of plant biology here! Follow along step by step, and make sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it at any time. Happy gardening!
Container Gardening 101
Careful selection and preparation of the container is key
Yard sizes are shrinking and there is no room for a traditional garden. You would like your plants to move from indoors to outdoors. Hanging flowers on your deck are beautiful and add just the right touch. Maybe the sun exposure requires your plants to be mobile so they get what they need.
There are many reasons why someone would choose container gardening rather than traditional gardening. No matter your reasons there a few things to consider if your container plants are to thrive.
Choosing the right container for your garden
One of the most basic elements of a container garden is the container itself. A container can be anything from an empty soup can or egg carton or more expensive designer pots. It doesn't really matter what kind of container you choose as long at it can hold dirt, provide for proper drainage, and meets your personal aesthetic requirements.
The one thing to keep in mind when choosing a container is that some plants are more finicky than others. Plants usually don't do well if their roots are cramped into a small space. Tall plants need a container that allows for a stable base to they don't get top heavy and tip over. Still, other plants have different thirst levels, meaning the containers they would like will need to have more or less drainage depending on their water needs.
Graduating from one container to another
When you have at last paired a plant with its dream container, make sure you remain flexible. Containers do not grow as your plants do. This means that at some point your plant will outgrow this painstakingly chosen abode. For the soup can container enthusiast this is usually no problem. If this is likely to mess up the décor then you might want to plan for the growth by purchasing similar containers in larger sizes. This allows for plant growth and keeps the color scheme happy.
Preparing the container
Okay, you have the seeds or seedlings. You have the containers. Now it is time to fill them with plants. The first thing you'll need to do is make sure the drainage is up to par. If you have a ready-made plant pot the drainage holes are already made. A tin can is another story as it has no drainage holes. You will need to do some modification. Using a can opener, or a hammer and some nails, punch through the bottom of the tin can in several places to make openings where excess water can escape. If the water not absorbed by the soil can't escape, it pools on the bottom of the container and drowns the roots.
Drainage for a container garden
Next comes the soil and a few marbles or some rocks and pea gravel. Line the bottom of the container with the marbles or a mixture of small and larger rocks. This rock or marble layer should constitute the bottom third or fourth of the total container's height and again allows for drainage. Cover this with soil.
When choosing a soil for a container, select one that has the ability to absorb and hold water. With all this talk of good drainage you might be left with the impression that container plants don't need as much water. This is not true. Container plants usually need more water because there is not as much soil around them to hold water.
Now put the plants into their new home. This hopefully will be the start of a long and flowery relationship.