Container gardening is an excellent way to ease into the fantastic world of gardening. It doesn't take much space, and you don't even need a yard to plant in. You only need a few sunny locations to set pots or hang containers, and you can start growing vegetables.
To get the best results, though, does take a little effort. Don't worry; we've got you covered!
Top 5 Container Garden Tips For Success
1. Every Container MUST HAVE Drainage Holes
Don't fall into the trap of pretty vs. functional! You can have the most beautiful containers in the world to plant in, but if they don't have drainage holes, you will not do so well. A trick many people use to keep their nice-looking display containers is to put a smaller plastic plant pot with drainage holes into the larger pretty one.
Of course, there are also some lovely-looking pots with holes – those should be given preference. Whatever you decide, never opt for containers without drainage holes. These are absolutely necessary so the soil doesn't end up overly soggy, leading to root rot and plant death.
2. The Amount of Light Matters
Do not put vegetable or flower pots in shady areas unless you're absolutely sure they can survive in the shade. The majority of plants need sunlight and not just a little bit. 6-8 hours is a good starting place. Pay attention to trees, other buildings, and geographical aspects that may block the sun throughout the day. You may have perfect sun in the morning only to find it mostly blocked out by mid-day because it is behind the big oak tree.
3. Feed Your Plants
Plants in the ground can gather nutrients from the soil around them to survive and thrive. Potted plants don't have this opportunity and so are entirely dependent on what you provide. Caretaking potted vegetables and flowers means you must feed them regularly.
Add a fertilizer weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the type of plant. Pay attention to organic fertilizers vs. synthetic commercial types. Once you use the synthetic, you'll have to continue using it for the life of the plant because it kills off beneficial organisms necessary for the organic type to work.
4. Keep Plant Tags/Label Containers
Seriously, it's rather embarrassing how often we forget what the plant is after getting it started. We always think we'll remember, but then 3-6 months later, when the plant is ready for harvest or seed collection, the name is no longer in the overwhelmed brain.
Knowing the type of plant is necessary to provide proper care and understand how it will grow. This is especially helpful if you are planting several varieties of the same vegetable, for example, four types of tomatoes or lettuce.
5. Provide Consistent Care
Most plants fail to thrive because they aren't receiving regular, consistent care. The amount of care a plant needs varies, depending on its type. Lettuce needs very different care than tomatoes. Pay attention to what your plants need to make scheduled times to check on them.
It helps to make a label with care instructions and put it right on the pot – that way, you definitely won't forget, and it's easy to reference.