“I don’t have a yard.”
“I don’t have a ‘green thumb’.”
“I don’t have time.”
These seem to be my most common excuses for not gardening. But I have decided to stop making excuses and start getting my hands dirty. If I can, you can too and here are a few reasons why you should; time outdoors, fresh food, and connecting kids with food sources. The only type of gardening I can do right now is with flower pots, but you might be surprised how much you can do with them. I love them because I can use bagged soil; so no soil preparation needed. Pots can be purchased; so no need to build raised garden beds. And it is a great place to start if you are new to gardening.
Flower pot gardening is a little different than traditional but still pretty straight forward. Unfortunately, when I start a project I don’t always do a lot of research a head of time. As a result I have a lot of “learning opportunities” in my efforts to garden. So if you are ready to take the plunge, please learn from my mistakes. Here is what I have learned. The best plants to grow is flower pots are after the tips.
Tips for Flower Pot Gardening
- Use mulch. I have found that the soil tends to dry out quickly in pots. Makes sense as there is no surrounding soil to draw moisture from. I have found it helps greatly to cover the top of the soil with mulch. Trust me, way too much watering needed otherwise.
- Ensure all pots and containers have drainage holes in the bottom. If water sits at the bottom of the pots it will rot the roots and cause problems.
- The larger the pot the less often you have to water.
- Know what depth the plants need for proper growth. Stunted plants produce less.
- Most vegetables and herbs need at least SIX hours of sunlight per day. If you don’t have a spot in your yard with that much sun, put your pots in a wagon. That way you can move them to optimize sunlight. I will be doing this because I live in an apartment and my porch doesn’t get enough sun. If I put the pots in the yard the complex would probably get rid of them. In the wagon I can move them into the sunlight during the morning and afternoon them back to the porch in the evening.
- Use Potting Mix not soil from your yard or top soil. The potting mix is designed to hold water longer.
- For best results use Organic All Purpose Granular Fertilizer.
- If you are going to plant different plants in the same pot keep in mind that some vegetables and herbs grow well together and others do not. Do some research a head of time.
- Always use clean pots. Insect eggs and bacteria can cause problems with new plants.
Best Vegetable and Herbs To Grown In Pots
- Carrots – Make sure to choose a deep pot for larger carrots. Carrots do best in the early spring and fall not in the summer. You can find more information at Gardening Know How.
- Broccoli – These also do best in the early spring and fall, which means your could have two harvests. You can find more information at Bonnie Plants.
- Cabbage – These plants grow bigger than you might expect, get a BIG pot. You can find more information at Bonnie Plants.
- Cucumbers – These plant require a fair amount of growing space, choose your variety with care. You can find more information at enkivillage.
- Lettuce and Greens – The depth of the pot doesn’t matter with these. Visit Gardening Know How for more information.
- Green Onions – SFGate has some useful information on growing these.
- Peppers – Larger pots work best. Bonnie Plants has more information on growing peppers.
- Tomatoes – Remember that tomatoes need a cage for supporting the plants, even in pot. The Tasteful Garden has more information.
- Parsley – The seeds are slow to germinate and they do require a lot of heat. May be best to sprout them indoors. Balcony Container Gardening has more specific information.
- Basil – Just be aware that basil is very sensitive to the cold and frost. SFGate has great instructions for transitioning the basil from indoors to outdoors.
There is a lot of information and specifics about growing each vegetable and herb in a container. I would recommend starting with a few and researching each thoroughly. I considered adding all the information here but decided against it, the post would have been way too long. I hope you find the information in the links useful.
Remember gardening is a process. There are a lot of successes and failures but there is always learning along the way.
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