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The Advantages of Gardening in Containers


Many gardeners are afraid of the thought of container gardening, when in fact gardening in containers not only can add interest to your gardening spaces, but are also very functional.

Containers give you the opportunity to grow plants that you may not have the ideal soil conditions for or grow things that you don’t want in a space permanently. Containers give you the chance to grow in areas that are not meant for growing, driveway, sidewalks, patios and balconies. The use of containers also can add vertical height or a pop of color to your space.


Yes, growing outside of the ground is different than in the ground, but the benefits of container gardening can be worth the challenge. With a few helpful tips you can find the joy of growing in containers.

First, let’s explore the world of containers themselves. Strolling through your local garden center, you may notice how many types of containers are on the market. They can be made from many materials including ceramics, metals, plastics, or foam-like substances each with its own character. A few things to keep in mind, not all ceramics are created equal.

When filled, a large ceramic container can become heavy. If you plan to move it around, this may not be a good choice for you. You also need to find a frost-free ceramic that can handle the freeze and thaw cycles of our winters if it’s meant to stay in place for the whole year.

Where the other material can be of lighter weight and can handle winter freezes, keep in mind metal can get hot if in a full sun situation during the summer months.

It is also important to have some form of drainage unless you intend on having a water garden. Raise your container off the ground; you can find decorative feet or just use old bricks. It’s just something to give a little height to keep the drainage holes clear.

Now that a container has been chosen, next is adding in soil. It would be easy to say go out to your garden and fill up your container, but DON’T.

For your plants to be happy, a loose potting medium is what’s needed. Potting mediums are generally a soil free mix of fine wood chips, perlite, and peat or peat-free material. Making a lightweight, free-draining blend. Potting soil also has built in fertilizers, so keep that in mind as well.


If you intend to grow perennials, trees or shrubs, find a blended mix that not only has good drainage but also has some moisture retention. This way you can keep your plants happy for years to come by just feeding them seasonally and keeping them watered.


Remember because it’s not in the ground, when you water, fertilizer tends to run out of the pots and will need to be replaced. You will have to water more often, since containers can dry out more frequently than the ground.

Happy Gardening!


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