By Michael Jenkins | April 30
While many of us picture gardens as plots filled with well-weeded rows of vegetables or beds of immaculately arranged flowers, in-ground gardening isn’t the only possibility. Container gardening has been around for quite a long time but is growing in popularity, due to the many possibilities it offers. Container gardening can be an easy and fun way to get started in the world of gardening, or to adapt a garden to the needs and challenges of your space. Let’s take a look at what container gardening is and give you some tips to get started.
What is Container Gardening?
Container gardening is just what the name suggests: growing plants of whatever kind in containers rather than directly in the ground. These containers can rest on the ground, on a stand, or hang from a hook on a wall or in the ceiling.
Advantages of Container Gardens
Container gardens and container gardening offer many advantages. The flexibility of a container garden is a big plus compared to conventional in-ground gardening. You can control soil conditions, moisture, and location/sun exposure with greater care. You can build your garden vertically as well as horizontally, using hanging or wall-mounted containers to take advantage of upright space. This makes container gardening a popular choice for those without a yard or working with a small space. By gardening in containers, you can do a lot with a very little room while still getting the most out of your garden each season.
Tips for Container Gardens
As with all gardening, the first thing to take into account is location. While container gardening makes it easier to put your garden where you want it, your space will likely still have some constraints around temperature, exposure to the weather, and sunlight. You’ll need to select plants that both work with these conditions and thrive in containers. Fortunately, most popular garden plants can grow nicely in containers, so that’s not much of a limitation. Vining plants will still need space to grow, however, so take that into account.
Now that you have an idea of what you want to grow and how your space works, you’ll want to choose the right container. While there are hundreds if not thousands of possibilities, in general you’ll want to select a container that is durable, easy to store and move, and which allows for adequate ventilation and drainage for your plants roots. Our Gardzen grow bags and folding raised beds are ideal in these respects, offering everything your plant needs. You’ll want to ensure that you’ve selected the right size container, as well. Most popular garden vegetables need at least a five gallon container, and when in doubt it’s best to err to the side of caution and get something slightly larger than what you think you might need. Most containers are reusable, so it's a one time purchase that can spare you a headache later on.
Now that you have the plant, the space, and the container, you’ll want to add soil and water. In general it’s best to use a specifically formulated potting soil, which is designed to work with your plant in the relatively confined space of a container and stay light and moist while providing stability and nutrition. Adding a fertilizer appropriate for the plants you’re growing is the next step, but pay attention to the label and add the right amount for the plant and the size of the container. Too much fertilizer can cause problems, too! LIkewise, watering your plants appropriately is important if you want to succeed at container gardening. Containers may dry out faster than in-ground beds or raised beds, so you may have to water a bit more frequently. However, as always be careful not to overwater–that can harm your plants as well!
Container gardening is easily scalable, meaning that you can start small with a few tomatoes and a pot of herbs and grow from there as you gain confidence and experience. This means that it’s also a wonderful way to introduce little ones or new gardeners to the joys of gardening. So if you grow in containers or are planning to, let us know how it’s going! Find us on social media or leave a comment–we love hearing from you!