Beginner Container Gardening Tips

Whitney Segura
 


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Container gardening has really become the new rage for a number of reasons.

  • If you live in an apartment and have only a small balcony, or have a duplex with a tiny yard and a small patio, a condo with only a deck. . . anywhere with limited space. . . you can still have flowers and even your own home grown vegetables and herbs.

Because containers hold so little soil, they need to be fertilized and watered frequently and you are very limited in the amount of planting you can do.

But on the other hand, what could be nicer than being able to move your flowers and vegetables around on a whim?

Large pots, when kept on wheels can be moved to where the sun is, out of the rain and wind on stormy days, or even brought inside for the winter. If you are going away for the weekend, they can be left outside for a neighbor to water, without them having to go into your home. When a flowering plant stops producing you can simply pull it out and exchange it for a new one of another color and style.

  • Roses are good container plants, for they need six hours of sun per day to flourish, and you can move the container to the sun as the seasons change. You can also protect them from heavy winds and driving rains by moving them to a protected area.

If you are new to gardening, container planting is a nice way to learn.

There are many different containers that can be used. Terra cotta or plastic pots, wire baskets (lined with coconut coir or moss), ceramic pots or planter boxes are fine. . . but make sure they never contained anything poisonous.

Whatever you decide on, you must provide proper drainage, or you will drown your plants.

If you are using larger containers, remember that when filled with soil, plants and water, they will be very heavy. Many people use outdoor nature green houses to store plant pots. If you intend to move them, set them up on wheeled dollies. If you are planting taller plants, the containers must weigh enough to keep the wind from blowing them over.

Small planters dry out quickly, so if you don't want to be constantly watering, you need containers that will hold the moisture between watering. You don't want flowers and vegetables to have a chance to wilt, as they may stop producing.

The container should be large enough so the plants won't dry out between waterings.

Many vegetables, herbs, and flowers will not be productive if they are allowed to wilt. Containers of minimum size hold less moisture especially when the roots are crowded. They will need more daily maintenance during the heat of summer. Consider using a slightly larger container with more soil to hold moisture and reduce maintenance.

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