Container Gardening

June 27, 2018

Container Gardening

Container gardening is the practice of growing plants in containers instead of planting them in the ground. Container gardening includes planting edible as well as non-edible plants.

The container can be anything that is enclosed, small, and usually portable, such as a box, tub, basket, tin, hanging basket, or barrel.

This type of gardening is highly suitable for people who want to try gardening but have limited space (see also: Small Space Gardening) or limited time.

It is also useful for gardeners who live in areas where the soil isn’t suitable for a particular plant. Container gardening may also be known as pot gardening.

Container gardening doesn’t necessarily have to be practiced only in an urban setting. It can be practiced anywhere and is especially beneficial for gardeners who are low on space. For more amazing accessories for your garden just click here:

This type of gardening reduces the risk of soil-borne diseases, virtually eliminates weed problems, and gives gardeners more control over moisture, temperature, and sunlight.

While the types of containers are vast, it is important to choose a pot that contains a loose potting material. The containers should offer proper drainage and aeration for roots to breathe to prevent root rot.

Container Garden Tips For Beginners:

Container gardening is a fun and satisfying method for growing your favorite plants. Here are 10 simple container-gardening tips to get you off to a strong start.

Select a Container or a Pot

Most plants aren't fussy about the type of pot they grow in. All they want is enough space to spread their roots and a few good drainage holes to allow excess water to drain.

Pots come in a variety of materials, such as terra-cotta, ceramic, wood, and plastic.

All of them work equally well, although terra-cotta pots have a tendency to dry out faster than plastic or ceramic, so you'll need to water them more often. Don't for get to visit here:

If you buy a new terra-cotta pot, soak it in a pail of water for a day or two to hydrate it before filling with soil.

Some plastic pots might need drainage holes drilled in the bottom. Holes should be at least 1/2 inch wide; smaller holes might clog with soil and prevent the water from draining.

Choose the Right Soil

Fill your containers with a quality commercial potting soil. Never use soil directly from your garden because, when dry, it will harden into a solid mass.

Quality potting soil should include generous helpings of some of the following amendments: peat moss, compost, perlite, vermiculite, and/or rotted manure. Inexpensive potting soils are not always a bargain, so read the label before you buy.

Pick Healthy Plants

You can grow almost anything you want in a container -- even trees and shrubs will thrive in a large enough pot.

Most people prefer to grow flowers, vegetables, or herbs for their patio, porch, deck, or terrace.

Enjoy an edible banquet by mixing a few of each type in the same pot.

Strawberries and lettuce, for example, taste as good as they look and make great companions for sun-loving annual and perennial flowers.

Match Light Conditions

When selecting plants, read the plant tags before you buy so you know whether they grow best in sun or shade.

You don't want to mix sun- and shade-loving flowers in the same pot. Top annuals for sun include petunias, geraniums, calibrachoa, and verbena.

Some good annuals for shade include begonia, caladium, impatiens, and Torenia. All vegetables and herbs need full sun.

Plant in Layers

For a gorgeous layered look, be sure to include a tall, showy plant (thriller), a bushy medium-size plant (filler), and a trailing blooming plant (spiller) in your containers.

Container-Gardening Tip:

Select varieties that complement each other in color and leaf form, too. There are many plants that are more prized for their gorgeous foliage than they are for their flowers.

Water Frequently

Container plants require more frequent watering than those growing directly in the garden. Water whenever the soil surface feels dry to the touch.

During hot, sunny periods you'll probably have to irrigate every day.

This is especially important for hanging baskets that dry out faster because they are buffeted by the wind. Dont forget to visit here:

You can use a watering can, garden hose, or install a drip irrigation system with a timer that waters your plants automatically every day.

Fertilize Regularly

To keep flowers and vegetables in top form all summer, you'll need to fertilize them.

Some potting soils have slow-release fertilizer already mixed in, but it's still a good idea to add a few drops of liquid fertilizer every time you water.

Flowers and vegetables are heavy feeders and will thrive with an extra dose of plant food.

Remove Faded Blooms

Annual and perennial flowers will look better when their old, faded blooms are removed.

This process, called "deadheading," will encourage a whole new crop of flowers to form.

On larger species, such as geraniums, simply clip away the dead flower heads with your fingers or pruning shears.

For annuals with tiny flowers, such as sweet alyssum, shear back the entire plant by about 1/3 with scissors or lawn clippers.

Renew and Replace

Even with excellent care, some annuals and perennials will begin to look tired by late summer.

Instead of trying to revive them, carefully remove the plants from the pot and pop in one or two replacements to give your container a second life.

Most garden centers offer replacement annuals in mid to late summer. For more amazing garden equipment, just click here:

Clean Up Before Winter

A hard frost marks the end of the gardening season across much of the country.

Once your annuals and vegetables have died, toss them on your compost pile and empty your containers.

Ceramic and terra-cotta pots can crack if left outdoors over the winter with soil in them.

If you want to save any perennials or roses you have growing in containers, plant them directly in the garden now.

Benefits Of Container Gardening

Container gardening is an attractive alternative to gardening in the ground for many reasons.

Some people are drawn to gardening for the very activity of pottering around among plants.

Others, depending on whether they are growing edibles or ornamentals, aim for the practical outcome of their efforts or for the visual appeal flourishing plants provide.

You can garden anytime

Seasoned outdoor gardeners often say that they get an implacable itch to get going at the start of the planting season.

The time may vary depending on where you live. In temperate regions, it is usually at the approach of winter and the first stirrings of life beneath the frozen ground.

But in the tropics, it is usually the beginning of the rainy season when the fresh smell of earth pervades the air following the first shower hitting the sun-baked earth.

But those who love container gardening need not wait for any such external cues.

With containers, you start your garden anytime, any day – especially when you can cover the container to form a sort of mini greenhouse.

There is no need to wait for super warm weather to start young plants when you can create the perfect growing conditions using a container. Don't forget to visit here:

There are no space constraints

You might think that you don’t have enough space for a veggie garden. While people living in townhouses and apartments may not have any outdoor space to call their own, that shouldn’t be a problem at all if you turn to container gardening.

Container gardens are not restricted by the availability (or non-availability) of yard space. You don’t even need a yard.

It is possible to have a size-able number of plants growing on a balcony or a window sill or in a bright spot near a window.

Keep in mind, many different varieties of plants can be grown in the same container. Companion planting in containers is a popular idea that produces a high yield and makes gardening a possibility for most people.

Ideal for novice gardeners

There are some hard realities associated with outdoor, in-the-ground gardening.

One has to do with weeds. Their seeds are everywhere, and they sprout faster and grow more vigorously than the seeds we plant.

That is why experienced gardeners give much importance, time, and energy to preparing the veggie bed.

When people take it easy and plant their garden with minimal preparation, they may end up with beds overrun with weeds in no time.

This is hugely discouraging, especially for newbie gardeners. Pests, diseases, and vagaries of nature are a few other factors that can adversely affect outdoor gardens.

Many novice gardeners are put off by their failure and never attempt gardening again.

Although container gardening is not without its risks, they are few in comparison.

The weed problem is minimal and diseases and pests are quickly noticed and easily remedied.

Being portable, containers can be moved to protected spots when there is a danger of prolonged foul weather.

You can bring the garden indoors

There are hundreds of houseplants that will happily thrive indoors near a sunny window. You can even grow fruits and vegetables if you have the right conditions.

If your windows don’t have the right kind of exposure to let in sufficient light, artificial lighting can come to your rescue.

There are many different lighting options tailored to the varying needs of flowering and foliage plants.

For example, cool white light in the blue spectrum produces lush leaf growth on compact plants. They are ideal for growing leafy vegetables indoors.

On the other hand, warm lights in the orange-red spectrum, promote flowering and compact leaf growth. They are good for tomatoes and capsicums.

You can grow vegetables under hi-tech lighting arrangements that can be tweaked periodically to suit specific development stages. This ensures maximum yield from a given space.

Being able to bring the garden indoors is a boon for people who are mobility-challenged or allergy-prone.

They can enjoy their favorite activity within the comforts of their home, and even completely do away with soil that may be harboring troublesome dust and mold. Don't forget to visit here:

Enjoy no-till gardening

Even a die-hard outdoor gardener will agree that tilling the ground is hard, back-breaking work.

In addition, it has been found that tilling actually disturbs many of the natural organisms that are necessary for a healthy garden.

Many people are turning to a no-till garden option for this reason.

Container gardening allows you to create a suitable growing environment, teaming with healthy components, without having to amend the soil or worry about damage from tilling.

Save on water

Gardening in the ground requires more water than container gardening.

Even when you diligently provide water to the root zone of plants, most of it spreads to the surrounding soil.

Evaporation from a larger surface area dries out the soil quickly and necessitates more frequent watering.

Plants in pots and tubs require much less water because water loss through evaporation is minimal as it only happens from the top layer of soil.

The downside is that, potted plants have only limited access to water, unlike plants in the ground whose roots can grow deep into the ground and get water from lower layers of soil.

So they need careful checking of soil dampness. Generally, you can place your finger into the soil – about 1/4 inch down and check the moisture level.

Save on fertilizers

When it comes to feeding, container-grown plants require less frequent application of fertilizers.

Just as in the case of water, fertilizers applied to potted plants––whether chemical or organic last longer because they remain concentrated in the limited amount of soil within the containers.

Also, potted plants need not share the fertilizers with competing weeds. For the same reasons, fertilizers should be used sparingly in pots compared to garden beds, lest high concentrations burn the roots.

Be sure to choose a high-quality organic fertilizer or use your own compost. You will save on fertilizer and get more value for your money.

Pest control is easier

Pest infestations in garden beds often require pesticide spraying because you do not have access to individual plants.

Controlling pests in container-grown plants is easier, and may not require a chemical application.

You can handpick the larger insects and use a toothbrush or cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol to get rid of aphids and scale insects.

Moving the pots to the bathroom for an occasional shower is another excellent way to get rid of many insect pests that inhabit the tender parts of the plant.

You can even take individual pots and dunk them in tepid water to drown unwanted soil organisms.

Keeping the pot in a plate filled with water can prevent ants from entering your pot and starting aphid farms on your precious plants.

Diatomaceous earth around the pot would help keep away slugs and many soft-bodied pests.

You can adjust the height of your garden

If you have some physical limitations that restrict your movement, or you simply don’t want to bend to the ground, container gardening is the answer.

You can have large tubs at a convenient height or arrange pots on a ledge or on a shelf for easy access. It makes chores like watering, feeding and deadheading easy on your back.

You can maximize space utilization by keeping the plants at different heights.

Harvesting is a breeze

When you grow vegetables and fruit in containers, it makes harvesting a lot easier. Grow not only strawberries and blueberries in pots but all kinds of root tubers like carrots, radishes, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

When they are ready for harvest, instead of digging them up and causing some accidental damage to the precious produce, just overturn the pots on a plastic sheet. Shake out the soil and you will have every little tuber in pristine condition.

You can adjust growing conditions

It is easy to provide the right environment for your container plants without undertaking large-scale soil amendments.

You can provide slightly acidic medium for your rhododendrons and blueberries without disturbing the pH of the soil in other containers or garden beds.

When there are seasonal differences in light intensity, you can rearrange plants accordingly.

Plants of similar watering needs can live in harmony as long as they are housed in different containers.

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You are free to choose the growing medium

Container gardens allow you to experiment with different growing media and techniques.

For example, you can completely do away with soil and grow your veggies in an inert media like expanded clay pellets intermittently bathed in nutrient solution.

This hydroponic culture increases yield and prevents diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria and fungi normally occurring in garden soil.

Coco peat and sphagnum moss are other alternatives.

You can do instant makeovers

Container gardening allows you to alter the look and theme of your garden by just changing the containers.

For example, large stone containers in different architectural shapes can give a classic look and feel to the garden, while metal containers with copper patina or rust––whether real or false––can transport you to another time and age.

Acrylic containers in jewel colors can make your garden a fun place, but a monochromatic scheme with the same material can spell elegance.

Add seasonal color to the garden and the interiors

Seasonal plants like holly, Christmas actus, and poinsettias look good only for a short period.

Make the best of their brief show by displaying them in prominent positions during the season, and then moving them away to obscure spots.

Brighten up dark corners

Plants with golden and silver variegated leaves are great for brightening up dark and dingy corners.

They cannot survive for long in such low-light conditions, but you can move them to a sunny location after a week and get other plants to occupy the dark spot.

It helps to have several plants for rotation.


Whatever be your motivation for growing plants, container gardening takes you beyond time and space constraints and lets you enjoy the creative process all year long.

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