Are you limited on gardening space? Just about any plant will thrive when grown in a container. Understanding the basics to this type of gardening will give you a summer full of blooms and vegetables.
Most importantly, use the proper sized pot. Match the container size to the mature plant size, not the seedling you are looking at. Small pots hold a limited amount of water, so unless you want to water several times a day, start with a large container. For large leafy plants like tomatoes, use at least a five-gallon pot. All garden containers need to have holes in the bottom for proper drainage.
Most potting soil mixes will work well in a container garden. Potting soil is engineered to meet the unique demands of growing plants in containers. Avoid using garden soil or topsoil as the growing medium in your containers. Feel free to mix in some compost, but not more than 20 percent.
Water your plants often. When watering, add enough until you see water leaking out of the bottom of the pot. The soil will only hold so much water and the rest will drain away. Add a water-soluble fertilizer to your watering program twice a week. Mix the fertilizer at the labeled rate to avoid burning the leaves of your plants.
There are many planter types available. Terra cotta pots are great, but plants in them tend to dry out quickly as the container actually wicks moisture from the soil. Plastic and concrete planters work great, however the latter can become extremely heavy once it is full. Feel free to get creative – old galvanized tubs, wheelbarrows, milk cans and jugs make fantastic garden containers.
Adding a trellis is great for trailing plants like Mandeville, sweet potato vine and cucumbers. Container gardening can also accent your current landscape and garden.