Let’s face it: there isn’t much space in the big city for gardening. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little green to your life! Container gardening was made for city dwellers. You can have great success—not to mention some fresh, tasty treats—if you make some good choices about how you’ll house your new plant friends. Here are some tips.
Size matters. If the pot is too small, the plant won’t produce as much, and it’ll be harder to keep it alive. If it’s too big, you’ll end up spending much more on soil than you need to. Your local gardening store can point you in the right direction based on what you want to grow and how much room it will need.
Height and width. Not all pots need to be round and tall. Plants with more shallow roots, like lettuce, will be just fine in a wider pot. But other kinds of vegetables will need deeper pots for optimal growth. You may need to experiment until you find what’s right for you.
Building materials. There’s more than one kind of pot (there’s even more than one kind of clay!), and the material definitely makes a difference when it comes to your plants. Terracotta is pretty and traditional, but it’s often heavy and can break easily. Glazed ceramic gives you more color options, but they’re often bulky and difficult to move. Plastic is affordable and durable, but might not meet your stringent stylistic needs. And so on. Consider your options and make the best choice for you and your garden.
Don’t let your plants get too thirsty! Container garden plants need more regular watering than your usual backyard variety because they tend to dry out faster. Pay attention to the look and feel of the leaves as well as suggestions for optimal amounts of water. Spreading the soil evenly can help prevent evaporation as well.
Drainage is your friend. You’ll definitely want to use pots with drainage holes for your container garden. Roots left in water too long will rot, but you can easily avoid that by making sure the pot drains properly and you’re watering just enough—no more, no less.
No sun? No problem! If your containers are relatively mobile, you can move your plants into and out of the sun as needed. A wheeled trolley is a great tool for this. This is definitely an advantage over traditional backyard gardening!
As you’re planning your growing needs for 2017, don’t forget the versatility of container gardening—specifically the container part. It’s not just about what plants you choose; the homes you give them can make or break your green thumb. Review your options and make 2017 your greenest year yet!