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Tips for First Time Container Gardeners

Updated on June 1, 2011

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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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • tim-tim profile image

    Priscilla Chan 7 years ago from Normal, Illinois

    Love gardening! Thanks for the hub:)

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Will do, and thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    katiekat311 7 years ago

    This is exactly what I've been thinking about doing. I just moved to an apt. bldg. and only have a patio and an outside front entry area to do my gardening. I'll be reading more of your blogs a.s.a.p. Keep up the good advice!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Happy gardening, thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    I was think of started container gardening and thank you for very good tips

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    I am glad they were helpful, happy gardening and thanks for dropping by.

  • Meghan Fitz profile image

    Meghan Fitz 7 years ago from Texas

    This is a great intro to container gardening - I live in a small apartment that has a great balcony so I am looking forward to planting some veggies! These tips are so helpful - hopefully I don't kill off all my plants :)

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, and happy gardening.

  • brsmom68 profile image

    Diane Ziomek 7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    I tried growing a few things in containers last year, as a traditional garden wasn't happening due to unforseen circumstances. I managed to get some radishes, carrots, beans, lettuce, tomatoes and peas. My biggest problem was keeping the cats out.

    We are having our first sunny day here in over a week, and I am anxious to get outside and get to work...but, like you, it will be months before I can plant anything.

    Great Hub!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    I love tomatoes, too but its is months before I can plant anything outside, Thanks for dropping by.

  • myawn profile image

    myawn 7 years ago from Florida

    very nice hub I like to container garden The cold snap here being over I need to start planting. I love tomatoes.