If you are interested to have a garden of your own in order to liven up your outdoor space, yet you do not have a lot of time and space to grow different types of plants, a container garden is what you need.
As its name suggests, a container garden is a practice wherein plants are grown exclusively in containers instead in the ground. Since it does not require an expansive lot for the plants to grow, it is ideal for city dwellers or for homeowners whose outdoor spaces are compact in size.
A container garden is a perfect addition for a small patio, porch or deck as it can instantly lend colors to a drab space. Best of all it is easy to care for and maintain. Here are some tips how you can successfully grow a container garden.
Pick the right type of pots
In general, a pot should be 1/3 of the height a mature plant in order to provide proper support and balance. If you are planning to move the pots frequently, it will be preferable if you go for lightweight foam pots or fiberglass ones. However, if you are living in an area where strong winds are prevalent, go for concrete or ceramic pots as they won’t easily topple in the wind.
Use the right type of soil
Depending on the type of plants that you will be growing, you need to tailor the soil according to their needs to ensure that they will grow well. More often than not, a soil that contains a mixture of peat moss, compost, little amount of sand and flaky vermiculite works well in most container plants. Or, to make the planting process easier for you, simply go for a package potting soil which you can purchase in gardening shops.
Pick plants according to your preference
The great thing about a container garden is that you can choose from a wide variety of plants to grow such as vines, herbs, vegetable, annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. When picking plants for your container garden, think of what you want to accomplish. For example, if you want a plant that will grace your home’s entrance for years, think of planting juniper. For a splash of color during fall, you can never go wrong with tulip bulbs.
Choose healthy plants
If you want to make sure that you will have a lush and healthy container garden, you need to start things right by choosing healthy young plants. Look for strong stems and fresh green leaves, as these characteristics will help them mature quickly. You should also opt for plants with numerous buds to ensure that they can easily adapt to a new container and location should you decide to move or transplant them later on.
Combine plants accordingly and plant them right
Although you can place together as many plants as you like, it will be more preferable if you start with two or three varieties. All plants should have the same sunlight and watering requirements.
When planting them in the containers, begin by spreading a good amount of pebbles over the pots’ drain holes to keep the soil intact while allowing excess water to drain properly. Next, add a layer of soil in the pots until all of them are three-quarters full, then let the soil settle by giving the pots a light shake. Place the root balls of each plant on the soil and increase or decrease the soil until the base of the plants’ stems are a little below the pots’ rims. Fill more soil around the plants until it reaches inch of the rim.
Feed and water them
Make sure that your container plants receive the right amount of nutrients by fertilizing them. You can either a water-soluble plant food or a granular fertilizer. Before you apply any of these, make sure that you check the label for proper amount and application. Equally important is to keep your plants hydrated. If your plants are small, you can use a watering can with sprinkler to keep the greens hydrated. However, when their root systems are growing, it is recommended that you use warm water when watering your plants or place small holes on the soil using a pencil to allow the water to seep properly.
Groom and monitor them
Of course, your container plants also need proper grooming to allow better development. If you are growing annuals, remove old flowers and stems using a pruning shear or scissors. Using the right type of tools will when grooming your plants will prevent injuring their roots and can also help in their overall flowering. Also, make keep the roots of your plants in check. If you notice that the plants have stopped growing or are not taking up water, there is a possibility that their roots are crowded. When this happens, transplant them into a larger pot.