Container Gardening Tips

Container gardening is a great way to garden if you have little or no yard space. You can have container gardens on decks or patios and not even need a formal garden plot. This video done by a University of Minnesota professor shows some of the things you can do to grow vegetables on your patio. In it he gives tips for growing vertically and different ways of securing the plants with trellises, ties or twine. He also gives tips for easy care, such as setting up a drip watering system on a timer. One other tip is that you need to use potting soil rather than garden soil, as garden soil is too heavy for pots. You will also need to fertilize your containers with a time release fertilizer or water soluble one.

There are other reasons for growing in containers other than finding some room for growing vegetables. You can add pizazz to your garden with decorative pots, hanging baskets and planters. These can be put on your patio or deck, or as we have done along the pathway in our garden. You can even stick them into the middle of a planting bed for accent or a focal point. If you live in northern climates, but want a lemon tree, a container is the only way to do this. I have bouganvilla which comes inside every winter.

You can grow almost anything in pots from fruit like strawberries or blueberry bushes to dahlias and clematises. My clematises spend at least two years in a pot before putting them into the ground.
At my house, my housemate is the container gardening person. I plant a little vegetable container garden, while she does the ornamental container garden. We have a variety of pots which I will show you.

As you can see, I have a more than one container with herbs, one with geraniums. several with dahlias or other flowers. I have an Earth Box with lettuces. My newest acquisition are growing bags in which I have put potatoes (just coming up). We will see how those do. I was unimpressed with the upside down tomato baskets last year. I bought one other elongated growing bag, but haven’t planted it up yet. Can’t decide what to put in it, but I do plan to experiment.

One thing I have found in doing container gardening is that you really need to be on top of watering them, because they dry out quickly. We are pretty good about watering containers, but sometimes miss a pot or two and then they droop. I have set up some drip lines for my pots, which really helps. When you have plants in containers, it is a good idea to group them together for easier watering.

Container gardening is easy and fun. And container gardens are easy to establish where you have little room, or just to add spice to the rest of your home garden. Why not try it?

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