Modernization in the globe has turned larger stuff into smaller ones, but with the same functions. Telephones are replaced by cellphones, and computers have been replaced by laptops and tablets. Similarly, container gardens are taking place in big gardens as people have started to live in big cities and small apartments. For container gardening, you will need variable containers, soil, seeds of your choice, and obviously water.
We aim to motivate you to grow a container garden, so we have collected some key benefits of container gardening as described by the expert gardeners. Here they are:-
- A container garden is versatile. You can create it anywhere in the walkway, the entrance of the house/apartment, window shelf, balcony, patio, living room, office, or rooftop of your residence.
- You can create a great natural expression of your space through the container garden indoor or outdoor.
- Container gardens are less likely to attract wildlife, weeds, and other lawn diseases than big gardens can get.
- By growing a container garden you will not require big and expensive gardening tools like a mower, rakes, etc. The stuff you may want for upkeep is simple.
- A container garden is portable. All the plants can be carried anywhere safely for change in order, or you want to shift your apartment if you are living in a rental one.
So, if you are well-convinced to grow a container garden, then below are some great container gardening tips for you to follow:-
Tips for a successful container gardening
01. Suitable pots and containers:
Choose a container that will be large enough to accommodate all the plants you will want to grow in it, but small enough to fit on whatever windowsill or shelf where you plan to put it. There are three basic types of pots used for patio gardening: plastic, terra-cotta and enamelled metal. Choose the one that best suits your purposes for this season because you want one that will not be too heavy or unwieldy.
Plastic pots are lightweight, inexpensive, easy to clean and durable. The only real disadvantage comes when they get very cold in wintertime—the plants can be damaged or even killed if the pot freezes while sitting out overnight on a patio table.
Terra-cotta pots are attractive and give a rustic look to the patio garden. The pots are porous, which allows for good aeration of the soil. They can also be used for indoor plants in cold climates—the outside is never very cold to the touch when filled with ersatz drainage, which discourages root rot.
Enameled metal urns are the most expensive of the three but are attractive and they are surprisingly lightweight for their size. They are finely made, which makes them particularly suitable for container plants.
This brings us to the function of the plant-pot combination in patio gardening. The pot is not merely a decorative accessory—it has two very important roles. First, it must hold enough soil to support the plant. Second, it must help the plant obtain nutrients and moisture from the surrounding air. This is why you can expect your plants to grow well when using a terracotta pot, but not when using an enamelled metal urn—the latter type of container is too hot to touch indoors in the wintertime and it is closed, which prevents the plant from obtaining nutrients and moisture from the air.
02. Container Drainage:
The most important thing to consider when planting in patio containers is drainage. There must be drainage holes at the bottom of the container to give your plants fresh air, and allow excess water to escape. If you cannot provide good drainage for them, they will die from poisoning instead of actually having more space.
03. Choose the Right Plant:
There are few things more satisfying in patio gardening than a houseplant that has grown into a strong, healthy plant that is going to flower for you. However, this often takes time and requires patience—and some good luck. The trick lies in choosing the right plants from the beginning.
For most people who have limited space for a patio garden, the easiest way to succeed is to select plants that are easy to grow, or that do not require much care. Of course, if your main objective in patio gardening is to enjoy looking at an attractive collection of plants it does not matter whether they are easy or difficult because you can simply enjoy them all year-round.
But if your goal is to grow houseplants that will produce colour for you in the winter, then it is really better to select ones that are easy to grow.
One of the most important things in this context is choosing appropriate plants adapted to your own specific environment. If you have a cool night temperature all year round, choose plants that prefer this kind of climate. If your winter nights are cold, choose plants from cool-climate areas. If you have hot, dry summers and mild winters it is better to avoid the tropical or subtropical species that cannot stand heat and drought.
04. Location of Containers:
Always place the containers in an inappropriate place. If your plant is sun resistant/loving, you must keep it in the exposed sunlight and heat to grow. If your plant is shade-loving, always keep it away from direct sunlight and find a shady place to keep it. Suggested sun-loving plants are coreopsis, daisy, Russian sage, yarrow, and lavender.
Suggested shade-loving plants are coral bells, digitalis, foam flower, astilbe, primula, and Japanese forest grass.
Note: The above-mentioned plants are suitable for most regions.
Good quality soil is the key to having a healthy green garden and plants. Fertilization can be done fewer times so, healthy and grade-A soil is a must. Good soil is capable to provide essential nutrients to the plants to make them grow healthy and long-lasting. Some soils are as good as they require less watering.
Check out: Top 10 Gardening Gifts
06. Plant with Care:
Before you start to plant, you should prepare the container.
First, you need to wash the containers thoroughly with a strong solution of unscented detergent and hot water. Rinse it well, then soak the container in another pail of diluted chlorine bleach for 20 minutes. This last step is very important: without sterilizing the pot you cannot be sure that no disease organisms will later attack your plants and kill them.
When you buy your plants at the store, they have been growing in a pot. At this stage, check to see whether they need water or not. If the soil surface is damp and springs back when you press it down with a finger, they do not need water yet. But if it is dry and does not spring back, then it is too dry and you will have to water them.
Loosen the root ball from the bottom with a thin-bladed knife, being careful not to cut into the fine feeder roots. Or gently pull apart with your fingers if the plant is small enough to handle this way. Set one or two plants per pot do not crowd them. Mix five parts of your potting soil with one part each of peat moss and sifted compost or manure, then moisten it thoroughly before you plant.
Now arrange the plants in the container without packing them too tightly together leave enough space between them so that air can circulate freely around them for good aeration of the roots. When you have finished planting, give the soil another good wetting and water thoroughly.
Now that your plants are in their pots with their roots properly moistened, they will need light so move them back into full sunlight on the windowsill or wherever they were before.
07. Plant at the right depth
The top of the seed should not be covered up with soil. If it is, then you will have to water from the bottom by placing them in a tray of water or setting their pots in a dish of water until they get enough for germination. Seeds planted too deep will not get enough moisture and die.
08. Keep up the Fertility
Look for the signs of plants when they require fertilizer. The yellowing and paling of the leaves may occur if the soil is less fertile for the plant. Therefore, feeding the soil with any organic or artificial food will be fine.
All plants need water, but there are several things to keep in mind after you have watered them. First, do not water again until the soil surface is dry and then only water as much as necessary to moisten it thoroughly. This may sound strange—how can you measure how much water is enough? The answer lies in the colour of the soil: if it has turned a medium brown colour, it needs water. If it is still very dark, do not add more water—it has enough. If the surface of the soil starts to dry out while you are waiting for it to get a medium brown colour, simply sprinkle a few drops on the surface with your watering can. It should be moist again after half an hour or so.
If you water your plants regularly and do not let them dry out completely, they will be much easier to care for than if you keep watering them at long intervals and then overwatering them. Healthy plants also need less frequent watering because their root system is able to absorb more of the moisture from the soil and transport it to the leaves.
Check out: Top 10 Watering Cans
10. Remove Faded Blooms
Although it is nice to have flowers in the home during winter, if they fade and drop their petals on your furniture or floor it will be necessary to remove them. The reason for this is that no matter how much you try not to step on them and keep them out of the way so that people will not walk on and crush them, you will probably not be able to prevent them from falling off.
If you want to enjoy flowers indoors, your choices should be made in the spring and summer when they are in bloom—not in the winter when you cannot enjoy them anyway. However, if an accident does happen and you find one or two petals on the floor it is better to remove them and throw them away than to leave them for several days until they turn brown and drop off.
James, the D.I.Y Expert, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University. Love writing blog posts and guides to help others learn how to garden!