We’ve compiled a list of the 6 most helpful tips to get your container garden growing healthy and lush throughout the warm months. These tips are meant to be of assistance to you when thinking about creating your own container garden. The most important thing is to have fun while doing so!
1. Drainage is important. Proper drainage allows for excess water to run freely so that your plants’ roots do not get overly moist and ultimately rot, killing your plant. If you container has too few or too small holes in the bottom, a 1/2” drill bit can be used to make more holes. Wire mesh or wire screen can be placed over the holes in the bottom of your container to reduce soil leaking through. For containers that do not have drainage holes and those that cannot be given drainage holes (like glass containers), it is advisable to keep the plant inside its original pot with a drainage hole and place that container into your bigger container. If that is not option, then keep in mind that if you do choose a container with no drainage holes, your watering technique will need to be more consistent and conservative.
2. Do your research. It’s very important to figure out where your containers will be placed before you start buying your plants. If the spot is in direct sunlight for more than 6 hours, you will want to choose plants that thrive in full sunlight. And if your spot in the shade part of the day, then part-sun loving plants will be the ones you choose. And if it’s completely shady like under a big tree or under a patio roof or other shade bearing covering, then plants that like shade should be the ones you choose. If you are planting multiple types of plants in one container, make sure they require the same amount of light and the same soil moisture.
3. Keep your plant tags. They have all the information you need to keep your plants not only alive, but thriving. Plant tags are critical. They’ll tell you how big your plant will grow, the amount of light it will need and what you need to feed it and how often you should water it. The tag will also tell you if your plant is annual or perennial and if it's a perennial, what zones it will survive in.
The tag will also tell you about your plant's growing habit. For instance, a plant with upright habits will grow taller than those with a trailing habit. This information gives you much insight about what kinds of plants to choose for your container depending on how you want it to look. I’ll say it again, keep your plant tags!
4. Choose a good fertilizer. Organic type fertilizer is recommended since non-organic type soil will kill off the good bacteria and enzymes in the soil. Fertilizing is one of the most important steps when caring for your container garden. Read your plant’s tag to see how much and how often you should fertilize.
5. Soil is important. You want lots of soil for retaining water – for women, not such a desirable trait, for plants, however, it is the key to their survival. Let’s say it increases your margin for error. Are you going to be away from your house for day? If you have very little soil to keep the roots moist, you will return to some pretty dry soil and sad looking flowers.
6. Garden in conjunction with how you live. Container gardening can be very time-consuming if you want great results. If you do not have a lot of extra time for pruning, watering, feeding and caring for your plants, then consider more hardy plants that don’t mind a drier condition such as succulents, cactus varieties and other drought resistant plants. Make it your own and enjoy it. Your hard work will pay off when you can sit near your garden, enjoy the sights and take a deep breath of fresh air knowing you created a living piece of art.