Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Kravelv
You’ve tried to grow a successful container garden and watched your plants thrive for a short time and then fade away. The problem is you don’t know what went wrong. Perhaps the potting mix was wrong or the plants didn’t receive enough light. Maybe one of these six tips will help you grow the perfect container garden.
Proper Potting Mix
Containers’ limited space hampers soil’s natural abilities. As such, a special soil mix allowing for the right balance of water retention along with nutrients and aeration is advised. Garden centers often carry a potting mix formulated for containers or you can mix your own soil. If you want to make your own, stick with a mix made from peat moss, sand, or shredded bark or compost. This will make the mix lighter, looser, and more porous, which both makes it easier to hold fertilizer and water and makes the pot easier to move.
Draining the Excess
One problem that many people have when growing plants in a closed container like a flowerpot is improper drainage. If a plant’s roots are waterlogged in a pot, they can rot. A simple trick to prevent your plant from drowning is to place a sheet of newspaper in the bottom of a container with drainage holes. Then, put your indoor plants in plant trays to collect the excess water. You should put your outdoor plants on bricks to help drainage and save your garden.
Light the Way
Overestimating how much light a plant will get is often the death of container gardens. Rather than guesstimating, place a container in an area you think is most beneficial and measure the time the plant basks in direct sunlight throughout the day. If the plant requires more sunlight, pick a new location and try again.
Container gardens are unable to access the natural nutrients found in the ground. Unfortunately, most potting soils don’t provide the food plants need either. The solution is to add fertilizer to the soil before potting the plant. After that, add a dash of liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks.
The Right Neighborhood
Group plants by their need for water and light. Otherwise, you risk some plants withering in too much sunlight while others thirst because their neighbors don’t have the same needs. Plants with similar preference will flourish together. Consult a plant expert from a place like Central Farm and Garden if you have questions about specific plant or soil needs.
The Right Pot
When you are selecting a container, there are a few factors to consider. Research the plant to find out if it has a shallow root system, prefers to be root bound or needs space. Armed with that information, choose a container that fits the plant’s preferences. If a plant prefers space, keep in mind it needs as much space below the soil as above.
Container gardens do offer some obstacles, but you can overcome them and have a convenient way to garden even if you have little space or no yard. Find the right potting mix, the right container, the proper drainage and the ideal location, and you’ll have a beautiful container garden.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.