Container gardening is for many people that think that their gardening days are over when they move to an apartment or condo. You can still grow pretty and useful plants if you opt for a container garden. There are a few rules you will have to follow when starting your container garden. The five elements that are crucial to your container garden are the pot (size for each individual plant), the soil, how much light your plants will need, watering requirements and fertilizer. For example herbs do not need big pots but they do need at least six hours of sunlight. Their fertilizing is minimal and they need good drainage in loose soil.
Choosing the right container is very important for you and your plants. You will want to choose a pot that is complementary to your home or outside patio and you also want to meet the needs of the plants. Cedar and redwood containers are rot resistant while other woods will rot. If you do choose to use wood pots make sure that they are not treated with harmful chemicals that will be detrimental to your plants. Do not use plastic pots in the sun; they will fall apart very quickly. Terra Cotta containers do not do well in the sunlight. They dry out quickly and have a tendency to crack and break. The best pots to use for your container garden on the patio are glazed ceramic pots. These are pretty and colorful but make sure there are plenty of drainage holes.
For soil that is completely dependent on what kind of plants you plan to grow. Remember you are going to be growing your garden in limited space so make sure that the soil will drain sufficiently. The key here is to have a soil mixture that will retain moisture put has adequate drainage as not to drown the roots. A little bit of research into the type of plant you are growing should tell you each individual plants needs. For instance some plants may require a little sand be added to the mix. In container gardening getting all the components right is absolutely necessary for your success.
Another aspect of your research is to know how much light your plants need. All plants have different light levels. For instance, impatiens do well in the shade while vegetables and flowers thrive in the sunlight.
Fertilizing is a most important aspect of container gardening. When a plant is in a container it only has a small amount of soil to draw nutrients from so you will have to give it a little help. To be consistent it is advised to fertilize on every other watering. Don’t just use one fertilizer; a mix of nutrients will keep your plants happy and healthy.
Watering a container garden should be your utmost concern. It will take time to determine the right schedule for the individual plants since they all have different needs. If you are having an extremely hot spell it will be necessary to water everyday.
You will be surprised how rewarding container gardening will be for you. It allows city folk to experience a bit of the outdoors in limited space. Once you have researched and decided what type of plants to grow your next step is to gather the necessary materials and plant your container garden. You will reap your rewards when you use your fresh herbs or vegetables in your next dish or you cut beautiful flowers to adorn your home.
Happy Container Gardening!
Article by Mary Hanna.