Container gardening is an important aspect of any gardener’s life. Whether you live in a place prone to harsh winters or enjoy a perfectly temperate climate year-round, it’s important to know how to plant a container garden.
They’re portable, beautiful, and can be customized any way you like. You may be keeping a container garden inside your home, outdoors on your patio, or even inside a greenhouse, but the skills required are all the same.
This week we’re discussing a great method for properly planting a container garden, courtesy of world-renowned horticulturist Ian Cooke.
Watch the entire video tutorial that was made by Your Garden Show below for a detailed explanation.
With just a few simple steps and a steady hand, you’ll enjoy your professional-looking container garden in no time!
Instructions for Perfect Containers
Step 1: Select a large Container
First, you should select a large container in order to hold as much compost as possible.
Step 2: Submerge into Water
Next, you completely submerge each plant’s roots in a bucket of water in order to fully hydrate the root bulb. Mr. Cooke assures us that this method will revive even the droopiest of plants.
Step 3: Remove Pots
After each plant is properly hydrated, remove the pots and nestle them into the container (already filled about halfway with compost), ensuring that the top of each pot is level with the top of the container.
Step 4: Fill With Compost
Fill the voids around the empty pots with more compost, ensuring that you completely cover every side of every pot. However, you do not want to fill the container with compost all the way to the top. Leave a little space so the water can fully penetrate the roots. Shake the pot to settle the compost.
Step 5: Rotate Each Pot
Finally, gently rotate each pot as you remove it and plant your intended plant in the vacant space.
And there you have it- a method for quick container gardening, courtesy of Ian Cooke.
Tips for Maintaining Your Container Garden
1. Use High-Quality Potting Soil: Investing in good-quality potting soil is vital for the health of your container garden. Potting soil should be well-draining, lightweight, and nutrient-rich. Avoid using garden soil as it tends to be too dense and may not provide adequate drainage. A quality potting mix ensures proper root aeration and sufficient nutrient availability.
2. Water Regularly and Consistently: Container plants tend to dry out more quickly than those grown in the ground. Regular watering is essential to maintain soil moisture, especially during hot summer months. Check the moisture level by sticking your finger into the soil. If it feels dry about an inch deep, it’s time to water. Remember to water the plants at the base to avoid wetting the foliage excessively, as it may lead to disease.
3. Provide Adequate Drainage: Good drainage is crucial for preventing root rot and other moisture-related issues. Ensure your containers have sufficient drainage holes, and use a layer of stones or gravel at the bottom to facilitate water flow.
Elevating the containers on bricks or pot feet can also aid in drainage and prevent waterlogging.
4. Regular Fertilization: Container plants rely on you for their nutrient supply. Use a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer at regular intervals to ensure healthy growth and abundant blooms. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the correct dosage and application method.
Additionally, consider using organic fertilizers for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach.
5. Monitor Sunlight Exposure: Different plants have varying sunlight requirements. Observe your container garden to determine the optimal sunlight your plants need. Some plants thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade.
6. Rotate the containers if needed to ensure all plants receive adequate sunlight for their specific needs. If your outdoor space lacks sunlight, consider supplementing it with artificial grow lights.
7. Prune and Deadhead Regularly: Pruning and deadheading are essential maintenance tasks for container gardens. Regularly remove dead or yellowing leaves, spent flowers, and unwanted growth to promote better air circulation and discourage pests and diseases.
Pruning also helps shape the plants and encourages new growth, leading to a healthier and more attractive container garden.
More Container Garden Tips and Ideas
For more tips on planting perfect container gardens, check out these other pieces of content from Garden Lovers Club: