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Tips for First Time Container Gardeners

Updated on January 18, 2021
Bob Ewing profile image

Bob is a garden writer, He has grown many different plants in containers over 30 years. His ebook, From My Garden is widely available.

First Container Garden

When it comes to container gardening size does matter. It is possible to grow most plants in a container but if the container is too small then the plant will suffer and possibly die. It is not likely to produce the vegetables or flowers you are seeking.

Tip One: Match the container to the plant.

A tomato plant needs a container that is at least 18 inches across and 24 inches deep. You can also grow cucumbers and peppers in this size container. The height and width of the plant are important when selecting a pot to put the plant in, but so are the roots. To grow strong and healthy and take up the food the plant needs a well developed root system is necessary.

Tip Two: Drainage.

Make sure the pot selected has at least one drainage hole in the bottom; if it does not then you need to find another container that does or punch one.

If the plant is set out on a balcony or patio you will need something set under the container to catch excess water. You can place the plant container in a larger container which will then catch any water that flows through.

Tip Three: Location.

Place the containers where the plants will get the sunlight they need, somewhere between four and eight hours a day depending upon what you are growing.

Place the containers as close to your backdoor as you can, this will save steps when you need to tend the plants or harvest.

Tip Four: Garden Size or how many containers?

How many containers you sue for your garden will depend upon how much space you want to devote to the garden and how much time you have to care for the plants you are growing.

Start small and make it work then add containers if space and time permit.

Tip Five: Watering.

Container gardens may need to be watered more frequently than other garden designs. You do not want the plants to wilt as this can weaken them and stunt development. If the site where the gardens are is hot and windy, daily watering may be necessary. Water in the early morning if possible.

If you take the above five tips to heart, you will be well on yoru way to a healthy container garden that will produce the herbs, flowers and vegetables you and your family can enjoy each gardening season.

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Bob Ewing photo
Bob Ewing photo

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