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Container Gardening

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Container gardening is a great option for many gardeners. Gardening in containers offers a lot of flexibility. You can grow plants inside your house, in a small area, or move plants around your yard. Here are some tips for container gardening:

  • Choose a container that has drainage holes in the bottom. If you overwater, this will allow water to drain out the bottom.
    • If you set your container on a saucer, be sure to empty excess water out of that saucer within 30 minutes to an hour after you water. Most plants do not thrive when their roots are submerged in water.
  • Fill your container completely with potting soil. You do not want to use soil from your garden; instead choose a potting mix as it is designed to drain properly when used in containers. If you want to try making your own potting soil, see the resources below for more information on what materials to include.
  • Do not add any gravel or other material at the bottom of the container. Although it may seem like this would improve drainage, water will build up in the soil above this coarse material and will not drain until the soil is overly saturated.
  • Be sure your container gets watered regularly. Most plants will grow well if they are allowed to dry out between waterings, but you don’t want them to get too dry. If you stick your finger about 1 inch into the soil and it is dry, this is a sign that it is time to water. If the soil is still wet at that depth, you can wait to water until later.
  • Select the right plants for your container. You may choose to combine several plants for a mixed container, or grow a single plant in a container. Make sure the container gets the correct amount of sunlight for the plant. See the resources for more guidance.
  • View our container gardening basics video for a quick overview on how to get started.
Flowers in a container

Want to know more? Here are some good resouces: