Great Container Gardens #1
Anyone can garden. If you read my hubs regularly you will have read this statement before, I repeat it frequently, because many people have a variety of reasons why they cannot garden.
What Can Be Grown in A Container?
You can grow anything in a container that you would normally grow in your garden. It is important that the container match the mature size of the plant, imagine trying to grow a tomato plant in a two inch container and you get the idea.
Plants that are grown in containers have the same needs that plant which are grown directly into the earth do; they need enough sunlight, water, air and food, which come from the soil.
Now the container plant can be placed in the sunlight and take advantage of rain but it may get thirstier than its earth-planted relative. The plant with its roots set in the earth can send them down deep, which is what you want them to do, to access water.
Container Plants Need Extra Care.
The plant living in a pot can send roots down as well but is limited by the size of the pot and one other consideration.
The earth-planted garden has a huge number of assistants working to meet the plants needs; earthworms for example, create passages for air to reach the plant’s roots and leave their casings behind which will feed the plant.
The container plant does not have these allies. Now you can attract beneficial insects to your container plants just as you do the garden. You simply have to plan to include plants that will attract lady bugs for example.
Lady bugs are attracted by fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, angelica, tansy, wild carrot & yarrow- as well as cosmos coreopsis, and scented geraniums, dandelions.
So you have a range of plants to work with when designing your garden.
One of the most important choices you will make when container gardening is picking a potting soil, I recommend that you purchase an organic potting soil as this will help get your plants off to a good, strong start.
The next major choice is what to plant which is based upon what space you have available; how much time you have to spend on your garden and what you want to grow.
If you are looking for a small container garden to provide some fresh food and herbs for you kitchen then you could grow tomatoes and basil together in a container. They do very well when planted as companions and they complement each other in the kitchen as well.
If possible place the container as close to your kitchen as possible so that you only need to take a minimum number of steps to harvest the basil which you can cut as needed and the tomatoes.
I usually grow cherry tomatoes in an eight inch wide pot but you can grow nay tomato variety that you wish as long as the pot is big enough.
Plants grown in containers will often need more water than the plants that grow in the ground, spend some time getting to know how fast your containers are using the water and you will not lose any plants due to thirst.
The first knuckle rule works for outdoor container plants as well as houseplants. Stick your index finger up to the first knuckle in the soil if the soil is dry water, if not do not water; eventually you will get to know when the containers require water. Be sure to factor in rainy days.
If your container garden is located on a balcony wind may be a factor and wind will affect both temperature and watering needs.
While just about anything can be used as a plant container, you will need to be sure that the soil can drain so if you select a container that does not have a drainage hole or some other method to drain off excess water, you will need to create your own.
You can drill a hole or holes in the bottom of the container and add some gravel before you add the soil. This way the excess water will run off and the plants’ roots will not rot.
You can plant more than one plant per container, just be certain that the pot you pick is big enough for the plants you choose.
- Guide to Container Gardening | Tips & Techniques
The basics of container gardening - includes lists of flowers and vegetables that can be grown in containers.
- Canadian Living : Crafts : Home & Garden : 7 secrets to successful container gardening
Whether you're growing flowers, veggies or herbs, here are tricks to help your container garden flourish.