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The Secrets to Successful Container Gardening
Browse the brand new range and you'll save 20 per cent on your order. Home How to Grow plants Gardening for beginners: container gardening. Gardening for beginners: container gardening Find out how to create the best possible conditions for plants growing in pots and containers. Growing plants in containers is an easy way to create instant and changeable displays right outside your back door — especially useful if you're short on space. Terracotta trough of gazanias, placed on windowsill.
Lavender growing in a large metal urn. Adding compost to a container, before planting. Adding slow-release fertiliser to compost, before planting.
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10 Container Garden Tips for Beginners
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Containers can be hung from a roof, suspended on hooks, or mounted on walls, opening up a whole world of growing spaces. Containers have the added benefit of being beautiful, acting as showpieces in the garden or decorative accents. These tips to successful container gardening will get you well on your way to becoming a small-space gardening pro. A pot, however, is generally not the ideal space to grow a plant.
Pots that are too small, have improper drainage, or are not weather safe will quickly cause the demise of the plants within. The secret to creating the perfect container garden is to create a healthy environment for plants contained in a pot. To do this we need to look at the soil, drainage, water needs, fertilizer, and the pot itself. Plants are used to having endless boundaries for their roots in the soil. Unless the soil has structural issues, it will allow for water to flow freely but retain enough moisture that the roots can absorb if they desire.
Container soil is limited to a relatively small space and, as such, it needs a few extra items to allow for the proper balance of air pockets, water flow, and water retention.
Container gardens need a soil mix specially formulated for holding the water while allowing for good drainage and keeping the roots healthy. Soil mixes formulated for containers can be purchased at a garden center, which works well if you are only creating a few pots. Containers used both outdoors and inside should have appropriate drainage to ensure the health of the roots. Container gardens also need to maintain adequate moisture to ensure that the plants thrive.
Terracotta or unglazed clay pots wick away moisture from the soil and dry out rapidly. Glazed clay pots, fibreglass, and plastic pots will keep more moisture in the pot and need sufficient drainage holes. Some pots could need to be watered multiple times a day in hot summer weather. To address this, choose larger pots to hold more soil and thus more moisture, or purchase self-watering pots with a reservoir for holding extra water.
How To Grow
Container soil is not the ideal space for critters like worms, insects, and microbes that convert the decomposing material in the soil into rich nutrients for the plants. Adding compost to your potting soil will go a long way in feeding the plants but as the plants grow and bloom, the nutrients will deplete.
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Search for organic fertilizers like worm castings and fish emulsion to add to your containers throughout the season. Choose a pot that is large enough to hold the plant at its mature size by envisioning that the plant needs as much room for the roots as it needs above the soil. Here is an important tip that is one of the most crucial factors to a healthy container garden.