Container Gardening 101

container gardeningIf you live in a place that does not have a lot of room for gardening, then trying your hand a container gardening is the next best thing. Not only do you NOT need a lot of room, but you can pretty much grow anything IN anything. If you want to add some greenery to your space, then check out some of these tips to get you started.

What Do You Want To Grow

First of all, you need to decide exactly what you want to grow. Maybe you want to have some pretty flowers that you can enjoy while you sip your coffee in the morning. Or maybe you are trying to eat more organically by growing you own food. Whatever you want to plant, decide before you go shopping so that you don’t come home with more than you planned.

How Much Space Do You Have

Once you know what you would like to plant, you need to choose your growing space. You will need to ensure that there is enough sun for your plant as well as access to water. Maybe you live in a condo and only have a balcony. You could put a trellis in a planter or even try building Bruce’s ‘Flower Tower’ (I am so trying that out next summer!) so that your plants grow up to fill your space or get even get some hooks so that you can hang containers. Once you know where you will have your planters, you can choose exactly which container would be best suited to your space.

Pots…Baskets…Barrels – What Should You Use?

As mentioned before, pretty much any container, whether you have barrels, pots or baskets, will do for planting in. Always make sure that whatever container you decide to use has some type of drainage. This could be a hole in the bottom of the pot or even rocks at the bottom so that the roots aren’t sitting in water. Depending on your style preference, there is multiple container materials and finishes that you can use create your space. If you are trying to recycle, you could even take items destined for the trash heap to plant in, such as old boots, or for the very venturous – even old toilets. You are only limited by your imagination.

Picking Out Your Plants

Probably the best part is picking out your plants. You could start your planter with seeds – depending how quickly you want to see the results. For myself…I am a bit impatient and I want immediate results. Hence I choose to buy starter plants.  Most often greenhouses will have a section with ‘basket stuffers’ – these are perfect for planting. Make sure to check the tags so that you get plants that like similar sun exposure and watering or can be grown in your planting zone. If you have a sunny deck but long for fuchsia plants – you are guaranteed to have dead plants in a matter of weeks.

If you are using your container garden to grow vegetables, you can either grow from seed or even buy starter seedlings as well. Make sure if you do use seeds, that you buy them from a reputable seed company that has good quality measures in place. There is nothing more sad than waiting…and waiting…and waiting for sprouts only to have none show up.

Time To Get Busy Planting

container plantingOnce you have your plants all picked out or your seeds all bought, it is time to get planting. The great thing about planters is that you can have everything done in an afternoon and then sit back for most of the summer as weeding is pretty much nil. You can use a garden potting bench or just set everything up on your deck to get busy planting.

Depending on how hot it is and where it is located, you will probably need to water your container at least every day – if not more. You do need to ensure that your plants get proper nutrition by fertilizing them weekly for optimal growth. Keep in mind that some flowering plants such as petunias will require you to deadhead them so that they continue blooming through out the summer.

Whether you choose to have flowering pots or are trying your hand at growing your own veggies, container gardening is really easy and is a great way to dabble in gardening without having to have space.

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