Tips for Growing a Container Garden

You don't need to break ground in your yard to start a new garden. Container gardening is an easy alternative to a traditional garden, and you can plant practically anything. The mobility of the containers allows you to grow many plants year-round.

1.    Choose your plants. What do you want to plant? There are many great options for container planting, including flowers, vegetables, herbs and foliage.

2.    Choose your container. Your plants dictate what kind of container you need. Don't let the plant overshadow the container and vice versa. Plants shouldn't be more than twice the height of the container. Keep colors and textures in mind, too. You can plant multiple types of plants in one container, but don't crowd them.

3.    Make sure the container has a way to drain. Planting containers generally come with holes in the bottom. If the container you chose does not, drill holes into the container or create a 1"-2" layer of rocks. You can also put your plant in a smaller, separate container with drainage and place it in the bigger pot. This is helpful for planting in nontraditional containers.

4.    Fill the container with potting soil. Do not use garden soil. There are many different kinds, but any mixture with peat in it usually does well.

5.    Placement. Be mindful of how much sun your plants need. Just because it's in a container doesn't change its basic needs. The good news is that you can easily move the container to accommodate those needs.

6.    Know when to water. Plants living in containers may need to be watered more often than those in the ground because their roots can't grow out to find additional water sources. Don't forget about your containers, and make sure they receive enough water.