What is container gardening?
It is the practice of growing plants exclusively in pots and other portable enclosed containers instead of planting them directly on the ground or plant beds. This may apply to both ornamental and edible plants, including herbs.
Container gardening is ideal for gardens with little space. In some cases, pots or plant containers hang on walls which some homeowners use as the focal point of their garden. You may also build a plant shelf on your balcony where you can arrange your container garden.
One of the many advantages of container gardens is you can change the look of your backyard anytime you wish. You can move potted plants easily, and they don’t require much maintenance.
So, what is the best way to start container gardening?
The first thing that you need to consider is where to set up your container garden. Using pots or containers limits the nutrients that plants can get from the soil, so they must get enough ventilation and sun exposure.
If your balcony or where you plan to build your container garden receives more than 4 hours of sunlight daily, you should look for plants that can stand full sun exposure. You may ask the garden experts near you about shade plants and sun plants that will be perfect for the location and condition of your container garden.
Now, that you know where to set up your container garden, it’s time to head to your favourite nursery or plant shop to choose your seeds and seedlings. It helps to get a recommendation from garden experts to ensure that you get the right plants to thrive and survive in your container garden.
The next things that you should prepare are your containers. Whether you opt for ceramic pots or recycled containers, make sure that their sizes will be perfect for the plant you want to include in your garden.
Generally, the bigger the container, the better. This ensures that there is room for its roots to maneuver in the soil as the plant grows. It also helps to know if your plant has a deep or wide rooting system. This way, you can prepare the right type and size of containers.
Extra Tip: You may start using small pots but remember to transplant your plants in bigger containers after 1 to 3 months.
In addition to preparing your pots, make sure that they have an optimum draining system. Check the holes in the bottom of the pots and make sure they are big enough to drain excess water but just right to hold your plant’s substrate.
Put enough holes in the bottom or sides for proper drainage for do-it-yourself or recycled containers. You can punch holes in the containers using nails or hand drills.
The next step is to prepare the substrate. It helps to get the most suitable soil mix from your garden supplier for your chosen plants. You may also add some soil conditioners to enhance the quality of the substrate.
Now that everything you need is ready, it’s time to plant your seeds or seedlings. If you are planting seeds, make sure to follow the planting instructions on the seed packets. Depending on the type of plant, the instructions will also tell how deep and how many seeds you should plant.
For seedlings bought from the nursery, be careful in transplanting them into your pots. Lightly loosen the roots before planting them and make sure that the substrate is damp. This will help the roots take better anchor and ensure effective transplanting.
Unlike plants directly planted on the ground or plant beds, container plants get less moisture from their substrate, so it helps to water them regularly. You may water them every other day on cold or rainy days, especially when your container garden is under the shade. You should also water them every day during hot summer days.
The best type of fertilisation for container plants is slow-release or liquid feeding. During the growing season, plants should be fed around every two weeks.
Lastly, if you opt for vines, twines or climbing plants, make sure to create support for them as they grow. You may build bamboo teepee stakes, trellises or stakes where the vines or twigs can climb, crawl or hold onto. This helps prevent any damage to the leaves, stems, fruits or flowers and even roots of the plant.
Once your container garden is established, make sure to actively and attentively care for and maintain it—lookout for growing weeds, infestations and rotting stems.
Contact Mazzega’s Landscaping Supplies for the best container garden tools!