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» How to Grow a Garden in Containers

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Learn how to plant and keep a low maintenance garden using pots and other containers to grow your plants.
Learn how to plant and keep a low maintenance garden using pots and other containers to grow your plants.
If you like gardening and don’t have a lot of time or space you could do your gardening in planters. It is simple and easy and oh so rewarding, whether done on a patio in the suburbs or a rooftop in New York City.

It is also the perfect gift for those with a green thumb. A portable Herb garden is always a lovely gift. Anything from flowers to fruits can be grown in a pot. It has many advantages such as very few weeds and overall low maintenance.

It is also nice to be able to move them undercover in a storm or in high winds so that the plant isn’t damaged.

Container Gardening

Container gardening is the perfect solution for people with little, perhaps even no, yard space. The apartment dweller, for example, need no longer go without fresh, growing flowers or vegetables.

Container gardens do require more on-going water than those in the yard, and sometime more nutrients; but they’re still easier to care for than a larger in-ground effort.

Step one is to look at the space within which you’re going to put your plants. If all you have are windows, then you need external ledge hangers or pots that fit the indoor ledge comfortably. Note that the size of your container will also dictate what you can grow to some degree.

Smaller pots don’t support larger root systems. Also, make sure that whatever planters you choose have drainage holes otherwise you’re likely to get root rot. One warning to indoor gardeners: find something to put under those holes to avoid damaging ledges or floors.

Outdoors, if you live in a four climate environment you may wish to consider wooden planters. The wood expands and contracts with moisture and temperature, meaning it will stand up to winter’s harshness where plastic and pottery may crack.

If you have limited space for a garden, then growing your garden in pots or other containers is the perfect solution.
If you have limited space for a garden, then growing your garden in pots or other containers is the perfect solution.
What to Plant in Pots and Containers

If you love aroma, and like to cook even a little bit, my recommendation is herbs. They require very little space, they smell great, and you can go pick fresh ones each time you make a meal.

About the only herbs that don’t fare well are taller ones like dill, which really need a larger space.
Rosemary, sage, chives, thyme, basil, and oregano, on the other hand work fantastic. It’s also said that if you grow basil in your kitchen, it inspires love in the home!

Moving to outdoors, I like using containers for cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, beans/peas (with a growing trellis), and have even had some success using them for potato mounds when I wanted fingerlings. The only problem is not assuming that just because the grass is green, that you pots don’t need watering. They’re going to dry much faster than your yard.

Additionally, I put my pots down into the soil of the yard by about 2" to keep them from being toppled by dogs or weather. Note: always place your container where you want it before you fill it with soil. I didn’t do this once, and needed extra hands to move it in place!

Finally, after you sew whatever plants you want in the containers I apply some fine wood chips (cedar is great) over the top of the soil. This holds in moisture, deters random weeds, and also keeps away certain bugs. The wood isn’t costly and keeps your pot gardening lower maintenance.

Necessary Items for Your Container Garden

  • Good sized pots; the size necessary depends on the plants.
  • Medium sized gravel enhanced potting soil plant of your choice.

Instructions to Grow a Garden in Containers or Pots

  1. Fill the bottom of the pot with the gravel. This allows drainage for good root health.
  2. Pour potting soil in the pot, enough to fill it about half full. Create an indentation in the middle.
  3. Take one plant if it is a fruit and break up the soil around the roots. If it is a flower, more than one plant can be used.
  4. Place the plant in the middle of the pot.
  5. Pour the remaining potting soil around the base of the plant. Press with your hands until the soil is firm.
  6. Water.
  7. The plant will need water every day. It should also be fed flower/fruit food monthly during its growing season. Another positive aspect of this is that you don’t have to treat the soil to provide for certain nutrients that might be missing in natural areas, such as potassium or nitrites. In a potting soil nearly everything is provided for, all you really need do is replace it on a regular basis.

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