7 Easy Tips for Starting a Container Garden

A container garden is a wonderful option for people who want a garden, but are limited on space and time. A container garden allows you to grow your fruits, vegetables, and herbs in a planter or pot, so you can easily adapt to the amount of space you have.

Are you curious about starting a container garden of your own?

Consider these 7 easy tips for starting a container garden, so you can enjoy fresh fruit, herbs, and vegetables no matter how limited your time and space is!

container plants in multiple containers on blue bench

Why start a container garden?

First, let’s take a look at a few of the reasons that people plant container gardens:

  1. They live on a rental property where they can’t plant an in ground garden.
  2. They live in an apartment and only have a patio to utilize for a small garden.
  3. Their HOA doesn’t allow lawn gardens.
  4. They only want to plant a few items and don’t have the need for a huge garden.
  5. Time is limited, so they want to keep their gardens to a few containers they can easily manage.
  6. Soil quality is poor, and a container garden will allow them to purchase small amounts of nutrient rich potting soil.
  7. There is limited sun, so they need to stick to a few small containers to fit the areas where sun is present.

Tips for Starting a Container Garden

Are you excited to get growing? Here are some great container garden tips to get you started, followed by a list of plants that are ideal for container gardening!

1. Choose the perfect containers.

You might be tempted to pick the cutest and most colorful container for your plants, but the truth is you need to make sure it is functional too. That means the container is at least twice as wide and twice as deep as the root system of the plant you are using it for.

Choose a spacious container that can allow the plant to grow and stretch its roots as needed.

2. Check for proper drainage.

It is very important that your chosen container has drainage holes. The larger the container, the more drainage it should have.

If you really like a particular container and it doesn’t have drainage holes, you can create your own with a drill or a hammer and nail.

While it is easy to make drainage holes in containers made of wood or plastic, ceramic planters may be tricky. Only use ceramic or pottery planters if they have pre drilled drainage holes in them.

3. Be mindful of your sun and soil.
When you plant in containers it is more important than ever to make sure you use rich soil. Use a nutrient rich potting soil. You can even now find potting soil that is designed for flower pot usage.

Make sure you are aware of the amount of sun your plant will need. Before you fill your container and weigh it down, move it to the area where it will spend its time. Make sure this area can provide the amount of sun the plant will need.

4. Layer your containers.

Layering your containers can help the soil drain better. For extra large containers you can fill the bottom with packing peanuts or even egg cartons. This way you not only get drainage but don’t have to use as much soil.

Next, add a layer of small gravel. This will help the water drain through much more efficiently. After the gravel, you can then add your potting soil. These layers will help your container drain as it should and give your plants a chance at success.

5. Don’t crowd your plants.
You might be tempted to get a nice and full look with your containers, and so you stuff them full of plants. While this is tempting, try to resist. When you crowd young plants you are setting them up for failure. Crowding can cause a fight over nutrients and chances are one or more of the plants will lose. Instead, follow spacing guidelines for the plants you are using.

6. Choose container appropriate plants.
Not all plants are suitable for containers. A great rule of thumb is to choose miniature or dwarf varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Don’t let plant height concern you too much. You can add plants that grow vertically, as long as you can fit stakes or a trellis within the pot.

7. Proper moisture is key.
Container gardens may need to be watered more than your in ground gardens. They don’t retain moisture the same way, so providing additional moisture is key. Do a soil test daily where you touch the soil with a dry finger. If the soil is dry and crumbly to the touch, it is time to water. If the soil is soft and sticks to your finger, you can allow another day before testing it again.

A layer of mulch over the potting soil can also help keep moisture in and keep plant roots cool. Consider adding a layer around the base of the plant for extra protection.

25 Plants Perfect for Container Gardens
When it comes to container gardens, you have quite a few choices between various vegetables, flowers, and even fruit. Here are 25 plants perfect for container gardens.

1. Cherry tomato varieties
2. Yellow pear tomatoes
3. Roma tomatoes
4. Banana peppers
5. Chili peppers
6. Strawberries
7. Cucamelons
8. Pickling cucumbers
9. Parsley
10. Rosemary
11. Mint
12. Oregano
13. Thyme
14. Lavender
15. Sage
16. Basil
17. Lemon Balm
18. Citronella
19. Chives
20. Coleus
21. Geraniums
22. Dusty Miller
23. Impatiens
24. Begonias
25. Petunias
25. Marigolds

Are you ready to get a fun and thriving container garden going? Consider these tips for starting a container garden, and in no time you will have a garden you can be proud of.

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