Container Gardening Basics

Ready to garden, but don’t know where to put it? Consider container gardening.

You don’t need a particularly large space to garden. While having a large garden is a dream for many people, you might be surprised by what you could grow by saving space with a container garden.

Where can you put a container garden?

  • Perfect for an apartment balcony. Especially if it faces south!
  • A front porch or back patio is a fine spot for a container garden.
  • A drive way can be decorated with a container garden.
  • Even a window ledge or bay window could be home to a container garden.
  • Anywhere your plants will get lots of sun light!

Container gardening basics-

A container garden is simply a collection of pots and planters for your vegetables or flowers. The containers can be fancy or be pure function. For instance: a five gallon bucket makes a fine tomato planter.

Why should you start a container garden?

  • Learn how to grow your own food.
  • Learn a component of the homesteading lifestyle, even if you rent.
  • A great way to get started gardening.
  • A wonderful way to beautify your home.

Who is a container garden good for?

  • Someone with a small, or no yard.
  • Someone with limited mobility.
  • Someone looking to grow just a few plants.
  • Someone trying gardening for the first time.
  • Someone who wants to liven up a porch, patio, or driveway.

When is the best time to start a container garden?

  • Generally after the last frost date for you area you’re good to go. Potted plants are a little more susceptible to cold. If indoors, start one now!

Things to keep in mind when gardening with a container garden:

  • Plastic pots may have a shorter life span. Depending on the type of plastic, some can become brittle if exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time.
  • Container gardens typically need to be watered frequently. Make sure to check them once a day. (If indoors, watering will probably be needed less than this.)
  • Terra cotta looks great but can also wick moisture away from your plants, raising the watering requirement.
  • Wood works great but will most likely rot over time. Cedar is rot resistant, but is also more expensive.
  • If growing food, don’t use treated lumber. The chemicals can leach out of the lumber.

Just bear in mind that your plants are a little more susceptible to the weather if they are in planters and pots. You may need to bring them in if it is going to frost. You may also need to water daily if the weather is extremely hot… You will also have to feed the plants on a regular schedule with a good quality organic feed, or good compost.

Also, if extremely hot (say middle of summer) make sure to water at least daily. You can stick your finger into the soil, and if moist they are good. Also, if you are in an extremely hot and sunny area you may need to provide some shade so the plants are not cooked.