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container gardening tips

Container gardening offers many advantages:

  • You can create little landscapes.
  • The pots are portable. You can move them around to make different groupings or to protect them from inclement weather.
  • They allow you to garden even where the soil is too poor to support a regular garden. Or, they can enliven terraces or decks where there is no soil at all.
  • With container gardens, you can garden year round by moving plants indoors during cold weather.
  • You can easily change container plants with the seasons.

the drawbacks to container gardening.

But there are some drawbacks to container gardening as well.

The main problem with container gardens is that plants in containers dry out more quickly than landscape gardens and require more frequent watering.

But that said, container gardens offer an inexpensive creative outlet. And if you don't like it, you can change it. 

for a successful container garden, choose the right container for each plant.

Anything can function as a pot, but the smaller and more porous the container, the more often you need to water. You also need a hole in the bottom of each container to provide adequate drainage.

However, if you have an ideal pot with no hole, simply set a pot inside the container and cover the top with loam. You can take the plant out of the decorative container, water and allow it to drain, and then return the plant to its decorative pot.

not all plants are suitable for container gardening.

Some plants are not suitable for containers. Fast-growing plants, for example, quickly outgrow their pots. And plants that like moist soil will soon shrivel and die.

Almost any kind of plant will thrive in a container, provided it's the right container. Here are just a few choices to consider:

  • Annuals (geraniums, pansies, petunias, etc.)
  • Roses (miniature, standard, and tree roses are good choices)
  • Succulents
  • Cactuses
  • Herbs
  • Bulbs
  • Vegetables

container gardening dos and don'ts.

Don't use your garden soil. One of the advantages of container gardening is that you can use optimal soil for the task.

Purchased soil is free of fungus, bacteria, weeds, and bugs, plus it has been formulated for good drainage which is key for potted plants. Generally, containers are planted much more tightly than traditional garden plots.

In the garden, you space plants to allow room for growth, but in containers you want that instant garden effect.  It's a really good plan for gardeners with limited patience.

Container plants need fertilizing year round about once a month. But in the summer, when annuals are in full bloom, fertilize with a diluted solution once a week. 

That's it. Get growing!

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for everything you need to get started container gardening.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.