Container gardening is an interesting way to grow your favorite plants without having to bother about space and other factors. Plants are not fussy about where they are planted. Most plants are okay once they have enough space that allows them to spread their root and well-aerated soil that allows excess water to drain effectively. So if you are into gardening and you are looking for a fun way to start, here are some container gardening tips to consider:
1. Choose the right pot
Gardening pots are made from a variety of materials ranging from ceramic to terracotta and even plastic or wood. Any of these pots would work equally well. However, there are some tips to keep in mind as far as pots are concerned. Terracotta pots tend to dry out a lot faster than pots made with ceramics or plastic pots.
Hence, if you are using one, you will need to water them more often. You should also soak a new terracotta pot in a pail of water for at least a day before you fill it with soil. Plastic pots, on the other hand, tend to retain water more which means you may have to drill in holes at the bottom of the pot for drainage.
2. Choose the right soil
Choosing quality soil is one of the major factors that determine the success of your gardening. Regular soil from your garden won’t work in a pot since it tends to harden into a solid mass when it dries up. Instead, buy top-quality potting soil usually made up of peat moss, perlite, compost, vermiculite among other components. Good quality ones may be slightly expensive though, but they are worth the price at the end of the day.
3. Consider lighting conditions
Be sure to provide the right lighting condition for any plant that you choose. Some plants such as geraniums, verbena, and petunias grow best in the sun. Others like begonia, impatiens, Torenia and Caladium do better in the shade. Both types of plants cannot be mixed under the same conditions. Hence, you should read the tag on every plan you pick carefully to determine the right condition for them.
4. Go for a gorgeous layered look
Planting varieties of plants in layers creates a sort of beauty by the way they complement each other. A garden with a mixture of tall showy plants, with bushy medium-sized ones and smaller trail blooming spillers will look a lot better than a plain one with a single type of plant.
5. Water frequently
One of the perks of regular gardening is that you can get away with not watering your plant often. You can’t do the same with container plants as you risk damaging the plant. Regular watering (as frequently as daily) is required during hot sunny periods. A garden hose or watering can do the job well, but you can go all out and install a drip irrigation system with a timer if you can afford it as this provides convenience for daily use.
6. Fertilize regularly
Regular fertilization is required to keep your plants in good condition. While most potting soils already have slow-release fertilizer mixed into them, you can also add liquid fertilizer to the water regularly especially for vegetables and flowers since they are heavy feeders that require a lot of nutrients.
7. Remove faded blooms
Deheading is the process of removing faded blooms from perennial or annual flowers. Doing this will encourage the formation of new flowers. You can use a shear to clip away the dead flower heads in larger plant species such as geraniums. For smaller plants like sweet alyssum. You can use small lawn clippers or small scissors to shear back the whole plant by about 1/3inches.
8. Renew and replace
Once in a while, you should go through your container farm and remove old plants from the pot. You can add in one or two new ones as a replacement to revitalize your garden.
9. Clean up before winter
Typically, in most parts of the country, the gardening year ends as winter begins to arrive. Once your vegetables have died, you should empty your container into the compost pile. Do not leave terracotta and ceramic pots outside with soil in them during winter. This can crack the pot. However, you can replant any perennials you wish to save by transplanting them in the garden directly.
Almost anything can be grown in a container garden. You can plant even shrubs and trees if your pot is large enough. However, most people prefer to stick to vegetables, flowers, and herbs in pots placed on their patio, terrace or deck. No matter your preference, knowing how to properly prepare and take care of your plants will make your container gardening successful.
About the Author
Grow Pod Solutions provides a state of-the-art, environmentally optimized growing system for growing high quality specialty crops, specifically leaf crops, including many varieties of herbs