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Container Gardens are a wonderful addition to any garden landscape and are excellent for people with small spaces or who only have balconies or windowsills. Containers come in all shapes and sizes, and beautiful colors too. There are a few key things to know when starting out, but once you have the basics down, you can grow just about anything in a container.
First thing is to make sure you have the proper sized pot for the type of plant you want to grow. If you want to grow a few different herb plants together to make an herb garden, start with a large 10-gal saucer sized container that can fit 4-5 4”plants. Want to grow tomatoes? Then you will need a 3-5 gallon tall container. Maybe you would like to try your hand at a dwarf lemon tree which would take a 25-gallon container. You really can grow just about any plant in a container! Save those really small pots for plants that are just starting out as most plants will outgrow a 4 or 6-inch pot rather quickly.
With any pot or container it is imperative that there are drainage holes. If there aren’t any in the pot that you have, you will need to drill at least 4 ¼” holes in the bottom. Then layer an inch of rocks or pebbles in the bottom of the container. Next, make sure you have good potting soil that contains nutrient-rich soil for the plants. What’s even better is if you use this organic potting soil recipe. The Bone Meal helps with root development and the Blood Meal aids the leafy parts of the plant as well as fruit or flowering production. One of the main benefits of using these organic fertilizers is that the plant only uptakes the nutrients it needs and they will not burn the plant as many synthetic fertilizers will do.
Organic Potting Soil
1/3 Potting Soil
1/3 Compost or Earthworm Castings or Bat Guano
1 cup Bone Meal
1 cup Blood Meal
After you bring your plants home from the nursery, gently tap the sides of the container to loosen the plant and slide it out of that temporary container. Tease the roots out so they are dangling down and not all bunched up. Make a hole in the soil the size of the root ball and place your plant gently into it. If the plant is a vine or if you want it to hang over the edge of the container, tilt it so it is at a 45 degree angle. Put any tall plants in the center of the container so they will grow upright. After your plants are nestled into their new home, water them in deeply until the water runs out the bottom. It is always best to water long and slow than fast and shallow. In the beginning water the container twice a day and anytime the daily temperature is over 90 degrees. Improper watering kills more plants than anything else.
Container gardens look great all on their own or when grouped together. Enjoy trying different plants and seeds as you grow your garden one container at a time.
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