4 Tips for a Successful Container Garden - Backyard Boss
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4 Tips for a Successful Container Garden

Container gardening is a great way to make the most out of the space you have available, especially if you have minimal space to set up your own garden. It’s relatively simple to do, and all you need is a container, like plastic or clay pots, garden soil, plants, and water. But the best thing about potted plants is that you can create aesthetically pleasing masterpieces which you can keep in your home for years to come. Create unique color schemes for your garden and make your container garden the focal point of your garden.

In this article, you’ll can learn four tips to ensure a good harvest with container plants, while also discovering nuances to add some personal style to your planters.

Materials needed

Flower pots on the vertical wall
Image credits: promicrostockraw via Canva

Starting a container garden is simple, just gather your materials and follow these easy tips:

  • plastic pots or clay pots with proper drainage holes (Be aware plastic pots can get very hot in the heat of summer)
  • potting mix
  • a gardening hand trowel
  • plants

1. Be Choosy With Your Plants

Potted Lavender on grass in garden
Image credit: congerdesign via Pixabay

When you’re setting out to create a container garden, the first thing that you’ll need to think about is what plants you’d like to grow. Depending on what type of plants you’re interested in growing, this will dictate the size pots you purchase. For example, some plant varieties have roots that required deep, large containers, while others have shallow roots that can fit just well in small containers.

Here are some other considerations to take into mind before you consider purchasing plants for your container garden:

Natural light conditions

Most fruiting vegetables and herbs require at least six to eight hours of natural sunlight to thrive, but there are also plants that prefer being in a temperate, sheltered area. If you pick a variety that requires lots of light it might not be best to pick a plastic pot – you might be better off with a terracotta pot. These type of containers help keep the plant cool.

If you’re choosing to place several varieties of plants into one container, make sure to pick plants that have the same care requirements including nutrient and water necessities.

Grow your own food and create a stunning display

One of the best things about a container garden is that you can extend the growing season by bringing your plants in doors. This allows you to grow vegetables, like tomatoes and pole beans, in the middle of winter. You can also add in some splashes of color and depth by adding flowers and tropical grasses to the same plot. This allows you to make your container gardens both functional and pleasing to the eye.

Watering requirements

Some species of plants require substantial amounts of water to grow and produce vegetables, while other plants, like cactuses, need a paltry amount of water to grow. There are also seasonal water requirements, especially when you get into hot summer days. You may notice plants that aren’t properly watered will wilt, and are at risk of dying from dehydration.

When picking pots for your newly established container garden, it’s essential that they all have drainage holes. This will help your plant avoid wet feet and root rot.

Color schemes

If you’re using your planter for decorative purposes, choose plants that offer a unique color scheme which heightens the space that you put them in. Before selecting plants for your pots, brainstorm the different plant combinations you can create.

In fact, certain combinations of flowers can even add to the curb appeal of your home. Juxtapose bright-colored flowers with leafy greens to create a more well-rounded potted plant. For example, you could place red roses and lemon grass in one container. Just make sure the plants are proper companions for one another.

2. Pick the right planters for your container garden

Image Credits:  Christian Neff from Pixabay

Once you’ve decided on the plans that you like to grow, the next step is to consider what type of containers to use for your garden. From items that you can find in your home to decorative vessels like whiskey barrels, there are many types of containers that you can use. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices:

Drainage holes

You may think that watering your plants is the best way to keep your plants healthy, but did you know you can overwater plants? When you drown your plants in water, it can have a detrimental effect on their growth and ability to produce vegetables.

Plastic pots without a drainage hole have a tendency to drown plants, as there is no way for the water to escape. If you’re looking to keep your vegetables healthy, consider purchasing clay pots with drainage holes. Clay is a semi-porous material which can help to remove excess moisture and allow for greater evaporation than plastic. If you’re worried about dirty water getting all over your counters or floors, purchase dishes to prevent leaks.

Get creative

You’re not limited to just one way to set up a container garden, and you can use almost anything as a planter. You may be interested in adding some hanging baskets to your living space for some much needed vertical green space. You can also use household items for your container plants, including old wooden tool boxes, teapots and ceramics, and even shoes or boots. If you choose to use household items as a  planter, drill some holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.

Discover the Best Potting Mix for Containers

Image Credits: Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

Plants require proper nutrition to grow and thrive, and they receive nutrients through the soil in their container. It’s advised to not use garden soil, as it is much more dense soil, not suited for shallow planters. In fact, heavy top soil can inhibit some plants from growing because it is too heavy and doesn’t allow for plants to form delicate root systems. In addition, regular potting mix with fertilizer may not offer the right amount of aeration, pockets in the soil to aid in the movement of air and water to influence drainage.

A good soil option is an all purpose potting mix because it offers a great mixture of nutrients to aid your plants growth. Before placing the potting mix in the planter, put a porous material like pumice in the bottom to encourage drainage. Add in some slow release fertilizer, so your plants can continue to thrive.

4. Placing Your Plants

Potted Plants outdoors
Image credit: Maria Orlova via Pexels

With a container garden, there may be less space than in a traditional outdoor garden, and this means you’ll need to be creative with how you arrange your planters. First, take your plants out of the plastic pots you got from the garden center, and gently tug on them to avoid damage. Then, place the plants inside the clay pots and add soil on top. Leave at least an inch of space from the top of the rim, as this allows for some space for the water to go when you’re watering.

For dimension you can play with hanging baskets, wall pots and containers on ledges.

Have Fun With It!

Whether you chose to place plants in several small pots or one large planter, you can be creative and make a statement with your container garden. Mix in vegetables, tropical grasses, herbs, and flowers to create an eye-catching ensemble, and choose a memorable planter, like an old teapot or whiskey barrel. You can bring the warmth of your patio indoors with container gardens.

Make sure to share this article with family and friends to get those creative juices flowing! Let us know how it goes in the comments.

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