Container Gardening

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Container gardening offers you the chance to grow plants anywhere. In a yard or on a balcony or porch. You can take your containers indoors and create your own garden oasis in any room.  With container gardening you can garden in an apartment or city, an option many renters feel they do not have.

Three other positives to container gardening is you don’t have to dig or till a garden spot, it’s easier on the back and knees, and you can easily change the look of your container garden by moving a few containers or pots.

And if you really want to create a unique garden, mix your pots. You can go terra cotta or use an old beat up teapot. My saying is, “If it will hold dirt it can be a container!”  Now it’s time to consider which plants you will grow. Vegetables, trees, shrubs, flowers and fruit all grow well on containers. And mixing all the varieties will add to your garden oasis look.

Steps to create a container garden

plants of choice – choose you plants beforehand. this will  help you select the pots you will need.
start collecting planting pots and containers – get creative. It adds fun to your garden area
soilless potting mix, rich soil, or compost
Organic Fertilizer
small rocks or pea gravel

1. Are you growing vegetables, herbs, flower or a mix? I suggest mixing them. You get a colorful look and companion planting helps most plants to grow and thrive better. Your choices will be based on your needs.

2. Make sure you containers are clean and dirt free. I usually wash my pots with a light bleach or vinegar and them let them air until they are dry. Also check for good drainage and make sure, particularly if your containers are indoors that you have them sitting on a plate or saucer and reservoir to catch any water. For all indoor containers I use pebbles in reservoir trays to help the plant drain and to add humidity around the plants. Sometimes a plastic container inside the pot is a good idea. And finally when choosing a container remember that the bigger the plant will be, the bigger the container should be.

3. Your plants will only be as good as your soil so buy high quality soil or use compost. Indoors I tend to use more soilless potting mixes. Its cuts down on indoor plant diseases.  And make sure to have organic fertilizer on hand for you plants, particularly vegetables. They will require an extra boost to produce a good crop.

4. Layer ½ or ¾ inch of pea gravel in the bottom of your containers to help drainage and root health. Small clean pebbles can also be used. Next place the soil in the container, pack it down a and slowly add some water, making sure you don’t add too much water or it will overflow and your soil will follow.

5. Let the pot sit for a bit and settle and drain. After the pot drains, it’s time to add your plants or seeds. When the plant or seeds have started to grow and get used to their pot I will add some organic fertilizer. Read the directions to make sure you apply the proper amount. Your container garden plants are ready to be enjoyed!

Most flowers and vegetable like sun and would benefit from 5 to 7 hours or sun. Place these plants in an area where they will receive the most sunlight during the day. Time will help you decide what amount of sun a plant needs but you can also pick up a good gardening book or search the web for additional information.

The advantage of containers is that they can be moved. And when you group them together it makes a very pleasing display. Container gardening lends itself to city and apartment gardeners. And although I don’t live in a city I enjoy my container gardens and potted plants for their ease in growing and their artistic value they add to my home.

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Denise

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