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Lousy soil? Limited space? Weeds waging war? Container gardening to the rescue!
Let your creativity run wild with container gardening. What makes the perfect container for your plants, fruits or vegetables? You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your containers. Basic, inexpensive pots will do the trick, and you can also upcycle old metal washtubs, barrels, wooden boxes, plastic buckets, bed frames and pallets. You might even consider learning how to take care of tomato plants in tires.
What are the best plants for pots? Our contributors have had success growing strawberries, herbs, tomatoes and more! Many successful gardeners recommend growing seedlings indoors to get an early start on gardening season. Try using pea pots or egg carton seed starters for germinating seeds indoors.
Here are the basics of container gardening:
Watering: To check your plant’s water needs, insert your finger into the dirt and if you cannot feel dampness within one inch, your plants need water. Container plants will dry out more easily than those planted in the ground. Overwatering is also a concern. Drill small holes in the container for proper drainage. You may also need to set the container on an elevated surface, such as a block of wood, if the ground doesn’t allow the water to go anywhere once it’s left the container. Keep in mind all plants have different water requirements.
Soil: Nutrient-dense soil is a must for container gardening, and is well worth the money. You can use the soil year after year, as long as you supplement with manure and compost to replace lost nutrients.
Container Size & Material: Root space is critical to healthy plants, so sizing your containers is critical to a plant’s success. Here are some guidelines on planting vegetables in pots and selecting the right container size. If you live in a desert climate, take note that certain containers will not work as well, such as a metal washtub or black containers that can bake in the sun. Tip: Spray paint a dark container a light color or cover with a coiled rope.
Have fun creating your container gardens this season!
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