Tips for Successful Container Gardening
As I have said elsewhere, I was a snob when it came to the homesteading lifestyle.
But it didn’t stop there.
I was also convinced that in order for a garden to be truly successful, it had to be picture perfect – all the plants lined up in their pretty little rows happily free from pests and hungry wildlife. Wrong again.
As I started on my journey deciding what I was going to grow and eventually preserve, I learned that you can’t judge a garden by its container.
The fact of the matter is this. With a few simple steps, you can have a perfectly beautiful and productive garden even if you have little or no land to do so. Enter – container gardening.
With that being said, as I mentioned above, there are some steps you will need to follow in order for container gardening to work for you so. Let’s take a look:
Choose the correct container: This is one of those times where bigger is sometimes better. This doesn’t necessarily apply if you are starting seeds and want to use the peat pellets. The pellets can be placed right in the bigger containers without much root disruption.
Containers are made of all different types of material – plastic, wood, terra cotta – the list goes on. Choosing the correct pot depends on the space your plant will need to thrive, your climate, etc. You’ll want to choose a larger container over a smaller container. Smaller containers hold less soil by volume and will dry out quicker than a larger container that will hold moisture longer.
The next thing to consider is how often you will need to move your containers to get the best lighting. If you have to move your containers around often, you may want to consider using these convenient fabric pots with handles to make your life easier.
Next on the list is the correct soil. A simple rule to remember is you always get what you pay for. You want to choose a soil with an organic nutrient source if at all possible to allow the slow release of nutrients your plants will need. It is also a good idea to mix your compost with your soil before adding it to your container. A 50/50 mix is your best bet.
Ok so you’ve got your container and you’ve got your soil. Now let’s get to planting. Chances are that you are already sure of what you want to plant in your containers and that’s great! My advice here is don’t limit yourself to just what you find in your local gardening center. Let your imagination run! But do keep in mind that you need to do a little research n what plants will do best in what types of container.
Finally, use your imagination when planning your container garden. There is no right or wrong answer of how your garden should look – be creative, do you!
My last piece of advice based on my experience is that your garden should be what YOU want. Not your neighbor, not your brother, not your grandma. While I fully support and strongly encourage you to consider a garden that will provide you with a healthier, rewarding and self-sufficient lifestyle, the choice of your garden style is ultimately yours in the end.
Have you started container gardening? Tell me how it’s going!