Maybe you always wanted to grow some vegetables but just didn’t think you had the time or space for a garden. Or maybe you just want to decorate your yard and house with beautiful flowers but aren’t sure how to go about it. With container gardening you can accomplish all this, with a fraction of the work of other gardens.
Container gardening first gained a following in the happy suburbs of 1950’s California, but its popularity quickly spread around the country. It is a simple method with advantages for the beginner and advanced gardener. It provides a flexibility and degree of control that no other form of gardening approaches. Using containers of almost any type or size the average person can grow an unending variety of annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, and even small shrubs and trees.
The Benefits and Limitations of Container Gardening
Many people choose to garden in a container due to space issues. Since you control the size of the pot the possibilities of where you can put a plant are many. From rooftops to front decks, apartment window boxes to kitchen herb gardens, if you have a spot that gets a few hours of sunlight everyday chances are good that you can grow something there in a container. A potted flower in a sunny window brightens up any room and can be grown almost anywhere.
Besides flexibility, container gardening also makes it easier to grow your favorite plants. A potted plant is much less likely to catch a soil-borne disease than one grown in the ground. You won’t have to worry about investing so much time in your garden just to lose your favorite plants to some bacteria.
And who really wants to spend all their time weeding the garden? A container garden might grow a few weeds, but it will never approach what you are used to in conventional gardening. Since they are portable, if weather conditions make a turn for the worse, or some new pest is trying to kill your tomatoes, you can always just move the plant inside your house or to a better location temporarily.
Although it is generally easier than a traditional garden, container gardening does have its limitations. Potted plants often need to be watered frequently. Because they are small and have good drainage many container gardens might even need to be watered daily. Fertilizer usually drains out along with the water too. Your plants might need more frequent fertilization than you are used to, but you’ll quickly adapt. The disadvantages of container gardening are few given the freedom and ease of work they give to the gardener, and well worth it.
How its Done
Gardening in a container doesn’t take much more work than finding a good pot and a sunny place to put it. For the container almost anything will do. Just make sure it is big enough to fit your adult plant and its root system. The best containers are glazed ceramic pots, but they are also among the most expensive. If you want something more budget friendly you can use containers made of plastic, wood, clay, or almost anything that can hold soil and drain water. Just make sure that no container you use has been treated with or exposed to any toxic materials.
For soil, any high quality, slightly acidic potting soil will work wonders. Some gardeners use compost or a soilless potting mix. Whether you grow carrots or petunias, you need a great soil to get what you want out of container gardening. Besides the soil, your most important decision is where to put your new portable garden. You have to consider the sunlight and weather, but it also needs to look nice. All of your plants will need at least around five hours of sun a day. Some bigger plants and vegetables will need up to eight. As long as you choose a nice sunny spot that isn’t too affected by wind, all your plants should turn out fine.
Container gardening is a great option for any gardener. Now you can have the luxury of fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers without all the work and space it normally takes. So get out there, find a container, and start gardening!