The 5 Essentials to Successful Container Gardens

Container gardens are the ultimate escape from the urban buzz and the daily grind. 

Picture this: You’re sitting on your patio, book in hand, surrounded by tomatoes, jalapenos, and fresh cilantro — all ready to harvest for tonight’s healthy happy hour. Talk about a dream afternoon.

Container gardens bring endless possibilities to patios, fire escapes, rooftops, balconies…Really, any small outdoor space can transform into your little home farm. There are many many advantages to container gardening vs. the traditional “till up your yard” garden. They’re easy to care for, quick to get growing and bring interesting décor to your outdoor space.

We’ve gathered together five key rules to help you find success with your container garden.

Make it personal.

First, the cardinal rule of gardening: grow what you like to eat! It’s fun to watch anything ripen to maturity, but when you grow things you like to eat, the harvest is that much better. 

The other side of personal? Think about how your container garden will add to the design elements of your outdoor space.  Approach your outdoor space (balcony, patio, or porch) just as you would an indoor space. This will make them comfortable and desirable places to spend time!

Consider your environment.

Environment for growing
Green globe in hands

The only constant thing about the weather? It’s constantly changing. Big scale environment is very important when gardening. Be sure to look at current weather conditions — not just historical ones. Gardenuity Match is a great resource to be sure you’re growing the right plant, wherever and whenever you are. (Plus, you’ll avoid all the research.)

Also consider: what unique environmental advantages or challenges might you face? Do you get a lot of wind? Is your garden covered by a patio overhang? How much sun does your space get on an average day?

When you understand your environment, you can create the perfect space for your plant to thrive based on its specific needs. The good news? Container gardens are often out of reach of pests such as slugs and snails and you can move your garden around when the weather hits. Fresh flavors are right at your fingertips whatever the weather.

Understand how to hydrate.

Watering Plants

First, make sure to pick a container that allows for drainage — plants sitting in water can cause root rot. Then, there’s no getting around it. Containers can dry out quickly, so you have to water consistently.  You can keep moisture in your container by covering the surface of the container with mulch. This helps to keep the water from evaporating as quickly. Lastly, remember that larger containers need less frequent watering than smaller ones (they hold more water)!

PRO TIPS:  Rainwater is always the best for gardens. So if showers are coming, move your container gardens to a place they can enjoy the rain! 

Pick your plant type carefully.

After you’ve picked your plant species, you’re not done. You still need to decide if you want to plant from seed or from adolescent aged plants.

If you don’t have the time or patience to raise plants from seed or are new to gardening, buy well-rooted healthy plants from a brand that works with great farm partners.  You might not have the same variety you have with seeds, but starting with plants makes the process quick and easy. Plus, you can have your entire patio garden set up in just a few hours.

If you’re in it for the long haul (and the ultimate ‘I grew that’ bragging rights), grow from seed! You have tons of variety, and the patience is totally worth it.

Remember, dirt matters.

Dirt for Successful Container Garden

Seriously, it does. The soil you choose becomes your plant’s home — and you want to create an environment your plant can thrive in.

Based on various scientific factors, different plants have different needs. Hungry crops such as tomatoes and peppers need fresh fertile compost to grow really well while other plants have different dirt preferences. Look at mixing compost with ingredients such as coconut coir, perlite, or pine bark. 

If you want to avoid the research, you can grow with us. Gardenuity soil is specifically designed to support your plants’ needs.

Container gardens open up a whole world of possibilities, not only for the varieties you grow and harvest but also the way you incorporate them into your outdoor living space. You will soon be showing off your city patio-farm and enjoying saying, “I grew that.”