The Basics of Container Gardening
Before you start planting, be sure to consider the best location for your container garden. Containers can become heavy when filled with soil, so be sure to move them to a sunny spot before planting. For best drainage, place holes a half-inch wide. The right drainage is essential to your container garden’s success. Don’t leave it sitting in the same place for several days. A site that gets morning sun will retain water better than one in the shade in the afternoon.
When choosing which plants to grow, make a list and group them according to their needs. Likewise, group them according to similar light, soil and care instructions. In addition, make sure you read the plant tags to learn about their individual requirements. A common mistake is to mix and match plants that require different lighting. Shade-loving plants will not grow well in a sunny spot. If you are planning on growing edibles in a container, do not mix them with plants that require cooler temperatures and shade. Many resources are available to help you select the proper combination of plants.
The preparation of your container for planting depends on its size and composition. Adding organic matter helps with drainage and aeration. It also acts as a sponge that holds water. Organic matter comes in many forms, including coconut coir and peat. Compost is made from manure and rotted plant material. Sand is also helpful, but too much will dry out the container. A good mix of soil, a pot, and rocks will improve drainage.
When planting in containers, consider the height and size of the plant. For most annuals, 12″ to 24″ of soil is enough. If you live in a hot climate, use more soil and a bigger container. Containers are great for many purposes, including growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Try mixing and matching different types of plants in the same container for an edible banquet. For example, strawberries and lettuce are a perfect companion for perennials and sun-loving annuals.
For the most successful container garden, choose plants with contrasting textures. Choose contrasting textures for each plant to prevent hot spots and ensure optimal drainage. Use timed-release fertilizer for your container plants. In addition to watering, consider pruning to maintain their beauty. The best containers should also be adorned with mulch to reduce water loss. At the same time, use timed-release fertilizer to keep your potted plants healthy and attractive.
You should follow plant instructions carefully. Container plants need acclimatization time before they can be planted outdoors. To ensure success, spend three days outside with your container plants daily. Rotate them to give all sides the proper amount of sunlight. Aim to keep your container garden as moist as possible and water the plants regularly. If you plan to replant, use food-grade containers to minimize the chance of disease and pests.