Questions About Container Gardening: It can be disheartening that your hard work in the garden goes to caput due to unexpected challenges. That’s why Gardening Know How’s goal is to help you avoid these problems, or at least modify them, by providing the best possible information for your garden to thrive – and this includes answering the gardening questions that tackle us all. Here are the main questions about gardening in containers.
1) How do you water the containers?
I find that the easiest way to water my containers is to immerse the soil until water flows through the drainage holes on the bottom. For my indoor potted plants, it is much less messy to carry them in the sink or even in the bathtub depending on the size, for a good soak. The frequency with which you will have to do it, of course, depends on the plant. But generally keeping the soil moist but not excessively wet is right. If a plant has been neglected, let the water run into the soil for a few minutes.
2) Can you grow vegetables in containers?
Absolutely. Vegetables can do very well in containers if they are given the right conditions: plenty of sunlight, adequate water and fertile soil that drains well. Just make sure to match the size of the container to the size of the plant and, for those who climb, the pot should be near a support structure. Some vegetables that do particularly well in containers are vegetables, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes.
3) What type of soil for the containers and can I create my own?
The type of soil you will need for a container depends on the plants. In general, you can get away with a standard potting mix. To create your general soil, you can use a lower quality product and mix compost and perlite to lighten it or create the soil completely from scratch: six parts of sphagnum moss or coconut fiber (a by-product of coconut processing), six parts compost and four parts perlite.
4) Which containers are safe to use (organic)?
Almost all containers designed for plants are safe to use. The exception may be the wooden containers that have been processed. Those can leach chemicals into the soil. Otherwise, plastic, terracotta, polystyrene, stone, and other materials from which the pots are made do not harm plants or contaminate vegetables or herbs. If you are considering the environmental impact, you can find biodegradable pots made with organic materials such as coconut fiber.
5) What grows well in a shady container?
Most plants work well in containers if they make sure they get enough water, nutrients and space. If you want to grow container plants in a shady location, look for those that tolerate less sunlight. Some great options are Coleus for gorgeous foliage, begonias and impatiens for beautiful flowers and bleeding hearts or ferns for larger plants.
6) Do you need to freshen the container soil every year?
It is not strictly necessary to change the soil in containers every year, but it does not hurt to add other nutrients before each growing season. For example, mixing compost in early spring is an easy way to freshen pots. Or, grow legumes or cover crops – clover, peas – in containers during the winter to reinvigorate the soil. Change the terrain completely every few years.
7) When to bring the containers outside after wintering?
This depends on the plant, as some can tolerate colder temperatures than others. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep the pots overwintered indoors until there is no longer any chance of frost outside.
8) How to grow tomatoes upside down in containers?
Upside down tomatoes can be an excellent space-saving gardening technique. You can essentially use any container that you can hang from a height. Use a light plastic pot or bucket with holes in the bottom. With the soil in the hanging container, put a small tomato plant in the hole so that the roots grow in it and the leaves are changing. The hole must be large enough for the stem of the plant, but not large enough to drop the soil. This cultivation technique is best used with smaller varieties, such as cherry tomatoes or grapes.
9) Can herbs be planted together in the same pot?
You can definitely mix herbs in containers and it’s a great way to save space. Make sure to put together those herbs that require similar conditions. For example, you can combine Mediterranean herbs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary, oregano and sage because they all need full sun and drier soil. Coriander, basil, parsley and tarragon would work well together because they prefer moist soil. An exception is the tick. Mint plants tend to invade other plants, so give them their space.
10) Do you need a drain hole in the container? What if there isn’t one?
Drainage holes are important. Without them the soil can become drenched, causing the diseased roots to decompose. If it is not easy to drill holes in a container you want to use, there is an alternative. Create a layer of pebbles or gravel a couple of inches deep at the bottom of the container and put the soil on top. This layer retains excess water without leaving the roots clog.
From time to time we all have questions, whether longtime gardeners or those who have just started. So if you have a question about gardening, you get an answer about gardening. We are always here to help you.