Container Gardening Help

Overview

Almost anything you grow in a garden bed or plot can be grown in a container, according to authors Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stucky in "The Bountiful Container." This makes container gardening a viable alternative to traditional gardening. Edible and nonedible choices can be planted in containers, and they are easy to take care of even with the extra watering that may be necessary.

Benefits

There are many benefits to container gardening. Rarely will a weed be found in a container, and soil disease is not likely. The containers can be placed on casters, making them easy to move. They can also be placed on surfaces allowing the gardener to plant and care for the garden without the need to bend over. This means that back and knee problems wont impede gardening.

Containers

The size of the container is important, especially for large plants or when combining plants in one container. Many of the containers may be 18 inches in diameter or larger. It is important that each container has holes in the bottom for drainage purposes. If the containers will be placed inside, you will need a drip tray. Plastic pots may not be sturdy enough if they are to be moved from place to place. Try clay or another type of container. When planting vining items, you will need a trellis. This can be attached to the container or free-standing. Tomato cages and other supports systems can be placed directly into the container.

Succession Planting

When planting food, consider succession planting. This is easy with container gardening. Planting a few pots a week in spring will enable you to have a more spaced-out supply of food. Planting more than one type of produce to a container is common.

Watering

It will likely take more water to grow plants in a container garden than with a more traditional method. Check the containers morning and evening to be sure the soil is moist. Many people leave buckets outside to catch water as a way to conserve water, or to lessen the water bill. Keep a jar or cup handy for watering.

Other Considerations

Place each container in an area where there is full sun if the plants need it, or partial sun. Know what each plant needs and place accordingly for full growth potential. Use compost, or a combination of regular soil and comport. You can also use potting soil. Fertilizer is not necessary when using an organic compost. As bush-type vegetables, such as tomatoes and zucchini, grow, add a bit more soil around the stems for the proper support.

Keywords: container garden, beginner container gardening, garden help

About this Author

Shannon Buck is a freelance writer residing in the small town of Milford, Maine. Her work has appeared on several sites including GreenandSave.com, where she writes The Green Mom column. She has written on many subjects, including home improvement, gardening, low-income living, writing and homeschooling.