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Potted Gardening: Benefits, Problems, and How-to

Potted Gardening: Benefits, Problems, and How-to

Potted gardening is an excellent way to grow flowers, fruits, vegetables, and herbs in a contained area. Gardeners who have limited space outside to plant a garden or who want to grow plants throughout the year but live in a region with cold winters find potted gardening to be an especially useful gardening technique. As long as you choose an appropriately sized container, you can grow almost any plant in a potted garden. Growing plants successfully through potted gardening is easy with these simple tips and instructions.

Choosing Plants and Pots

Tomato Plant in ContainerThe first step to potted gardening is choosing the plants you wish to grow. Although most plants will grow in pots, small to medium sized plants work best for most home gardeners. Some popular flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs that grow well in pots include:

  • Alyssum
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Begonias
  • Cactus
  • Chives
  • Coleus
  • Garlic
  • Geraniums
  • Lemon balm
  • Lettuce
  • Marigolds
  • Mint
  • Onions
  • Oregano
  • Pansies
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Petunias
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Salvia
  • Snapdragons
  • Spinach
  • Thyme
  • Tiger lilies
  • Tomatoes
  • Zinnias

The key to successful potted gardening is to choose a container that fits the plant. Smaller plants like herbs will grow well in smaller containers. Larger plants like most flowers and vegetables will need medium to large containers. Also make sure your pot allows for adequate drainage because otherwise you might end up drowning your potted gardening plants. Almost any type of container will work; just make sure that any recycled pots did not previously contain any substance that is poisonous to plants or people.

Empty Container for Gardening Empty Containers for Container Gardening

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Benefits and Problems

The greatest benefit of potted gardening is the portability of potted plants. Unlike plants that are planted outside in a traditional garden, potted plants can be moved to avoid excessive temperatures and to increase sun exposure. These plants can be moved into indoor greenhouses that can provide protection from inclement weather while also maintaining adequate light exposure for the plants to absorb. Planning a greenhouse for your garden may become a necessity if you are going to be doing some serious gardening. Remember that when buying a greenhouse, check reviews first such as GreenhouseReviews.co.uk, so that you get a proper idea of what suits your requirements best. The various types and sizes of greenhouses may seem overwhelming, which is why doing your research is important. That said, greenhouses can serve as the perfect area to grow potted plants.

For cooler climates, potted gardening also allows gardeners to grow plants throughout the year without worrying about frost and freezing temperatures. However, the size of most pots can also cause problems. Because of the small space available for soil in a gardening container, the dirt often dries out faster than on a lawn or in a garden. Potted plants must be watered more often than outdoor plants to avoid damage or death from inadequate moisture. The nutrients in the soil of gardening pots also depletes more quickly than uncontained soil. Adding compost or fertilizer to your potted plants regularly is a must.

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Leaf Lettuce Seedlings in Container Leaf Lettuce in Container

Growing Potted Plants

Red Pepper Seedlings in ContainerOnce you have selected a pot and a plant for your potted gardening endeavor, fill the pot with potting soil or compost up to about an inch below the top of the pot. Do not use ordinary lawn or garden dirt unless you plan to add a chemical fertilizer to increase the nutrients in the soil. Then plant you fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs according to the directions on the package. Water the plant until the soil becomes moist but not saturated. Place the pot in a sunny area, and watch your plants grow. Always make sure that the soil remains moist and nutrient-rich; add water or fertilizer as necessary.

Growing potted plants allows for the portability and flexibility that traditional gardens cannot offer. Potted plants may be moved around to fit the needs and desires of the gardener. Plants grown in pots can also be grown throughout the year without worrying about damaging frost and cold temperatures. Learning about potted gardening is simple with these easy tips and instructions.

Container Garden with Plants Seedlings in Containers
Have you ever grown plants in a container garden?

References

Guide to Container Gardening: http://www.gardenguides.com/685-guide-container-gardening.html
How to Grow Plants in Pots and Containers: http://www.thegardenhelper.com/planters.html
The Potted Garden: http://www.pfaf.org/leaflets/potted.php

Image Credits

Potted Gardening: Benefits, Problems, and How-to 2012 Heather Johnson
Tomato Plant in Container 2012 Heather Johnson
Empty Container for Gardening 2012 Heather Johnson
Empty Containers for Container Gardening 2012 Heather Johnson
Leaf Lettuce Seedlings in Container 2012 Heather Johnson
Leaf Lettuce in Container 2012 Heather Johnson
Red Pepper Seedlings in Container 2012 Heather Johnson
Container Garden with Plants 2012 Heather Johnson
Seedlings in Containers 2012 Heather Johnson

Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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