Container Garden Ideas

Most plants will grow in a container, Some varieties fare better than others. Container gardening gives you the ability to transport your garden from place to place for optimal sunlight, or move it indoors under adverse weather conditions.

You can elevate your garden to a comfortable working height, no need for knee pads. And you can continuously re-create your garden adding and rearranging plants every time.

Container gardens allow you to enjoy gardening in confined places that would have been unthinkable to raise plants otherwise. Poor soil or limited space is no longer an excuse for not being able to enjoy the pleasures of gardening.

The first thing you will need to start your container garden is – a container …

Basically, anything that will hold soil and that has drainage holes in the bottom can be used in a container garden . If it doesn’t have drainage, you can easily make it.

Things to consider when choosing your containers

1. Try not to use containers with narrow openings.

2. Plastic pots sometimes deteriorate and become brittle after prolonged periods in direct sunlight.

3. Metallic Pots sometimes interact chemically with fertilizer and can harm plants.

4. Clay pots are porous and water is slowly lost from the sides of the container. They should be monitored closely for loss of moisture.

5. Light colors deflect sunlight – dark colors absorb it. In hot climates light-colored containers will lessen heat absorption.

6. If using a wooden container try redwood or cedar. Unlike other wood they resist rot without treatment.

7. Do not use wood treated with creosote, or other toxic compounds as they can damage the plants.

Be sure to choose a container that has adequate room for the soil and the plant or plants at its full maturity. One of the most common mistakes is using a pot that is just fine when you first started your plant, but is way too small for the full grown version.

Sprawling plants such as Strawberries will need a deep pot that can sustain a root system that also serves as an anchor.

Upright plants, such as Tomatoes require a wide base for balance.

Containers should have drainage holes at or near the base of the pot.

A layer of gravel 1 to 2 inches thick at the base of the pot is also advisable. As the plants grows and the root system expands, it will fill the container. The soil will dry more rapidly.

Vegetables best suited for container gardens are naturally the ones that require less space, dwarf or determinate varieties, that bear fruit over extended periods of time. Most require more than six hours of sunlight daily. Fruit bearing vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and eggplant require full sun. Leafy vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce, spinach, and parsley will thrive in more shady locations. Root vegetables such as radishes, turnips, onions and carrots require more sunlight. Herbs such as mint, basil, sage can perform well in either full sun and partial shade locations.


Naturally the more exposure to sunlight your plants receive the quicker they will loose moisture. In hot dry weather daily watering is required. Use your judgment otherwise . Don’t overdo it – Don’t under do it .

Self Watering Containers

It has been demonstrated that plants grow better in self-watering containers as opposed to traditional containers. In many cases, under proper care, they will also outperform vegetables grown in a traditional backyard garden.

Also – In self watering containers soil nutrients are not leached away by constant watering.

See – Self Watering Containers.


Don’t use Garden soil, a good potting soil mix is best. A good potting soil mix with peat, and perlite or vermiculite to retain moisture longer. Perlite or vermiculite will also help keep the soil from compacting as the season progresses.


Lighter potting mixes drain water more rapidly and wash out the fertilizer as they drain. A diluted liquid fertilizer such as Liquid fish emulsion or some varieties of Miracle grow {Depending on the plant you are growing} once a week should resolve this issue. As with any fertilizer – don’t get carried away. If you are considering Self Watering Containers, fertilizer is not as much of an issue, as nutrients are not leached away by constant watering.

See: Growing Corn in Containers