Planting Guide For Container GardensPlanting Guide For Container Gardens
The planting guide for container gardening that most gardeners used is very simple to follow. Gone are the days where the only garden one could have involved a large plot of land laden with neat rows of vegetables.
Container gardening has brought the joy of gardening into places such as apartments and condos. Container gardening is a good way to enhance one’s living space no matter how large or small.
Container gardening is gardening at its most versatile. One of its main advantages is its mobility. Plants not doing well? Maybe they prefer shade. Having a party? Move some containers onto the patio or deck for instant color. Tired of the view and want a change? Move your plants around to provide a fresh new look to your outdoor living area.
Whether you are growing plants in hanging baskets, tubs, window boxes or other containers this hobby is immensely gratifying. If you are new to this type of gardening and buy your containers pre-planted, you get a sense of instant gratification and fulfillment. It won’t be long, however, before you are hit with the gardening virus and you’ll find yourself expanding to one more pot and then again, one more container. Before you know it, the urge to plant and nurture will take over.
The biggest advantages of container gardening are the savings of both time and money
You will save time because there is not the upkeep required for a full landscape garden. There is no rototilling or turning over of the land, no weeding, and no large cleanup in the spring and fall.
You will save money because the amount spent on soil, fertilizer, and plants will be 1/2-1/3 of the amount spent on a full-scale garden. What better reasons than these for considering gardening in containers?
gardening tips and vegetable containers
Gardening has a way of becoming an addictive habit. Garden centers become your new hangout and the search for the perfect container and matching plant is on. Before you realize what’s happening, fresh soil smells like perfume, household containers take on a totally different look, and gardening lingo slips off your tongue like a second language.
You can’t become a great or even a good gardener by only reading books and visiting this site. You have to actually plant and nurture your container garden, and by gardening and experimenting, over time you will find what works for you in your garden area. Only through trial and error will you become the master gardener you envision yourself to be.
If you are a seasoned gardener but find there is always a spot that could use some color or needs some fill in, garden containers are just the answer. With garden containers, there is no need to worry about bare spots in your garden or the ragged, in-between look that occurs between blooming seasons.
Perhaps you live in an area that doesn’t have space for a garden but you would like to have some green growing plants and flowers around your home. Maybe you’re a dedicated food addict and would love to have an endless supply of constantly growing, fresh herbs on hand. You may be a person who doesn’t care to garden outdoors, but want to grow and enjoy living plants inside your home. Gardening in containers is the answer to all these issues.
Transform Your Balcony Into An Outdoor Paradise
With container gardening, a balcony can be transformed into an outdoor paradise, and the chef of the family will be able to cook with fresh herbs. In order to achieve success with container gardening, an individual must follow a few simple rules of a planting guide.
The first rule that any good planting guide will offer is to choose the container carefully. Avoid containers that have narrow openings. This will restrict plant growth and if edible plants are going to be grown, the harvest will not be as bountiful.
Also, if the plants are to be placed outside, the choice of containers can prove tricky. Cheap plastic pots will fade, and terracotta will dry out easily. The best type of pot for outside is glazed ceramic pots but they require many drainage holes.
Choosing Container Gardening Soil – Keeping Container Plants Healthy with Proper Soil Management
Choosing container gardening soil is one of the first and most basic decisions container gardeners face. New container gardeners will most likely go outside and fill the pots with garden soil. Big mistake! Most yard dirt contains clay which is heavy and prevents soil from draining well. When clay is dry it resists water and yard soil tends to pull away from the sides of the containers. This makes watering a messy and difficult process. Clay will never support healthy growth in plants and should never, ever be considered when choosing container gardening soil.
Sandy soil needs a lot of conditioning to hold enough moisture for container plants. By the time you add compost, peat, vermiculite or other additives to your sandy soil, you still may not have a mixture that your container plants will thrive in.
In heavy garden soil, there is little space between soil particles. Because of these small spaces, when the plant is watered, the water forces the air from the soil by filling up the small spaces. The amount of air left in the soil after water drainage is mainly what determines the plant’s growth as roots need sufficient air for respiration, survival, and growth. As you can see, by using garden soil you will find at the least, you’re not getting optimum results from your plantings. Worst case scenario, your plants could wither and die from lack of air.
All this may sound complicated, but choosing container gardening soil need not be a huge decision. The soil properties for optimum growth should be:
- Fast drainage of water through the soil
- Sufficient air left in the soil after drainage
- A reserve of water left in the soil after drainage
Considerations when Choosing Container Gardening Soil
If you are a beginner, choosing a commercial potting mix could be your best option. These mixes usually consist of two parts, organic and mineral. The organic ingredients may be peat moss, the bark of hardwoods, shavings, fir bark, or pine bark. The minerals are either perlite or vermiculite. Sand is also often used as an aerator and as an aid for rooting cuttings.
Vermiculite (Terralite) resembles mica and when crushed and treated under heat the mineral flakes expand to 20 times their original volume. Perlite (sponge rock) is volcanic material. When heat treated it pops like popcorn and like vermiculite, expands to 20 times its original volume. The difference between vermiculite and perlite is in the way the minerals retain water. Water is retained within the flakes of vermiculite while perlite retains water around the granules; consequently, the perlite tends to dry out faster than vermiculite.
The standard “soilless” mixes are free of diseases, weeds, and insects and are ready to use. Many gardeners purchase commercial mixes, then go home and add garden soil to “stretch it out.” This totally defeats the purpose of using commercial mixes. When you add soil, you lose all the advantages of a sterilized mix. Do you really want to start out fighting weeds, insects and diseases in your pots? Think about this before adding yard soil to your mix.
Along with these advantages, commercial mixes have all the nutrients needed for initial plant growth included in the mix. Therefore these mixes will be ready for immediate growth. Mixes such as Jiffy Mix, made of peat moss and vermiculite, has the further advantage of lighter weight. This could be a big advantage if you plan on moving your containers around or want to plant window boxes and hanging containers. If your garden is a rooftop, balcony or window box, this could make a difference in the way you plan your container garden.
How Much Commercial Potting Soil is Enough?
If you purchase a 2-cubic-foot bag of commercial potting soil you can plant the following:
- 20-22 gallon sized containers
- 35-40 pots 6″ deep
- If you purchase a 4-cubic-foot bag you can fill a planter box 24″ x 36″ x 8″ deep.
A Good Quality Potting Mix Is Essential
Another rule of thumb to follow from a planting guide is to have a good quality of the potting mix. One should review their options and make sure that the planting medium drains rapidly but retains enough moisture to keep the roots evenly moist.
If plants have too much water they can die just as if they are void of water for too long. a good potting mix will help to alleviate this issue for most gardeners.
Amount Of Sunlight And Fertilizer
A planting guide will also focus on the amount of sunlight and fertilizer that the planter garden will need. Everyone knows that plants require sunlight to survive, but what many do not realize is that a container garden including a houseplant needs at least five good hours of sunlight to thrive.
As for fertilizer, a good rule of any planting guide is to use a liquid fertilizer with every other watering to ensure healthy and vivacious plants.
A Pleasant Experience
A good planting guide can help to make the world of container gardening a pleasant experience. A huge space is not needed for one to have bountiful veggies, flowers, or herbs plants.
Container gardening can help alleviate the stress that today’s hectic lives are full of. By participating in the activity of container gardening, a person can get in touch with nature and produce a wonderful harvest fit for a king.
Planting a Garden Container – Soil, Drainage, and How to Pot a Plant Container
When planting a garden container, your first thoughts should be about cleaning and sanitizing the pot. Many of you may think, “Why? I’m just going to fill this container with dirt.” Number one, for aesthetic reasons alone, you want your pot to be clean and attractive.
The second reason involves insects and diseases. If your pots have been used before, many infestations can carry over to another plant. They may also survive through the winter season as many of these insects and diseases can live through frost and cold. In fact, a good habit to adopt is to wash and disinfect pots at the end of the growing season to stop these problems from moving over into the next season.
Planting a garden container can be confusing if you are a new gardener. So many choices! What size container should I use? What kind of soil? How many plants and what variety should I look at? All these questions and more will be dealt with on this site. If you’re new to container garden, start with the basics of planting a garden container as described below. You’ll find these techniques easy to master and then be ready to go on with more inventive plantings.
When choosing a garden container for a single plant, the new container should be one size up from the pot the plant it is now living in. If your plant is now in a 3″ pot, move up to a 4″ pot. If it’s in a 12″ pot, the next size would be a 14″ pot.
Prepare for Soil Drainage When Planting a Garden Container
Once you have cleaned and disinfected your container, the next thing to consider is drainage. The traditional system of covering the pot drainage holes with stones or pot shards to aid in drainage and keep the soil from coming out from the holes is now being questioned in some gardening circles.
Covering the pot drainage holes with stones or pot shards will only allow that much less soil to be available for the plant’s root system. A better method to keep soil from falling out is to use a sheet of steel mesh or a coffee filter to cover the hole. If you discover you need to increase or improve drainage, insert a wick into the pot and allow it to extend out several inches below the bottom of the pot. This will give your plants much more soil to grow in as well as allow more air to be available to the root system of the plant. Once drainage is taken care of, it’s time to fill the container with potting mix and plant your plants.
How to Pot up a New Plant When Planting a Garden Container
Before planting a new plant, condition it by dipping the plant in its pot into a bucket of tepid water. Leave the entire plant pot submerged below water level for a minute or so until all the air bubbles are released from the potting mix and the soil is thoroughly moist. Using this method will ensure the roots are moist and help it adapt to its new home. It will also make removing the plant from the pot easier when you transplant it.
If you are using a terra cotta clay pot, it helps to soak it in water for 10-15 minutes before planting. Since terra cotta is porous, this will ensure that the pot does not soak up all the valuable water you give the soil when you transplant the plant.
Fill the pot 3/4 full of soil. Remove the new plant from its original pot. Press this original pot into the potting mix to get the shape of the original plant and its roots. This will ensure the plant has the correct space that the plant needs for its new home.
If the container is large, it is best to fill it layer by layer with soil and firm it gently with your fingertips. This will help avoid compacting the soil, which would inhibit drainage.
Tips for Selecting Plants
When selecting your plants for your container, choose plants with healthy foliage and a good strong root system. Look for plants that are compact and symmetrical. Avoid plants with sparse stems, ragged foliage, and densely packed roots.
If you are going to take the time to plant and nurture a container garden, don’t doom yourself to failure by buying plants that are obviously rejected and the end of the season sale items past their prime.
Don’t pull plants from their containers. Hold the container upside down and tap it against the ledge. Hold the rootball firmly with the plant stem between your fingers. Loosen the tightly packed soil and root ball, and holding the plant firmly, lower it into the new container. Firm new soil around the sides of the ball, filling it in and building up the soil until it reaches the same level as the soil around the plant.
Always set plants in the container so that the top of the plant is at the same height as it was in the original container-no higher-no lower.
Water the plant immediately after planting. Check the plant after 15-20 minutes. If you have a saucer under the plant, remove any water that is in it to prevent root rot. It is advisable to use a mulch of bark chunks, marble chips, or even a ground cover such as alyssum or ground phlox over the soil of a large container. This will not only dress up the container and slow down evaporation, but it will also keep the planting soil from being disturbed when you water
Set your container in a sheltered area for a day or two to allow the plants to acclimate to their new home. After a few days, it is safe to move the container into an open area and direct sunlight.
Planting a garden container can be confusing if you are a new gardener. So many choices! What size container should I use? What kind of soil? How many plants and what variety should I look at?
All these questions and more will be dealt with on this site. If you’re new to container garden, start with the basics of planting a garden container. You’ll find these techniques easy to master and then be ready to go on with more inventive plantings.
The Vertical Container Gardens
Many people have problems with garden space, which is small, precious and rare. In the urban environment, a few square yards of paved terrace or courtyard may be the only garden space available. The Vertical Garden will be the solution to set up that enclosing wall to be a beautiful small garden.
When you want color high up in the garden, whether it is to provide a focal point, frame a view or soften the hard lines of a wall or a building, the easiest way is to plan up to a container and set up in a vertical line. The vertical garden relies on a new way to grow plants with the wall. It can be set up indoor or outdoor, in every climate environment. You can check the website of Patrick Blanc, a famous vertical garden designer for many details of the vertical garden. Here are some ideas to get you started to planning the vertical garden to your small garden with the containers.
Ideas for containers
- Privacy can be important in a small garden, especially if it is overlooked by neighbors. Try to set container plants as a curtain with a garden string and hang it up.
- Window boxes, containers, and wood crates provide additional planting space and give the garden a vertical element, and with such a small garden the regular watering they require should not be an onerous chore.
- Decorating the wall almost always improves a small garden like this, and helps to show containers and wood crates to maximum advantage.
Contact Us and let me know your interests and questions about container gardening. I’m always looking for new ways to provide information and inspiration to my faithful visitors about planting garden containers and other aspects of gardening in containers.
Table of Contents
- 1 Planting Guide For Container Gardens
- 1.1 The biggest advantages of container gardening are the savings of both time and money
- 1.2 gardening tips and vegetable containers
- 1.3 Transform Your Balcony Into An Outdoor Paradise
- 1.4 Choosing Container Gardening Soil – Keeping Container Plants Healthy with Proper Soil Management
- 1.5 A Good Quality Potting Mix Is Essential
- 1.6 Amount Of Sunlight And Fertilizer
- 1.7 A Pleasant Experience
- 1.8 Planting a Garden Container – Soil, Drainage, and How to Pot a Plant Container
- 2 The Vertical Container Gardens