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Container Gardening Basics

Container Gardening Basics

Container Gardening Basics

Gardening looks like a lot of fun, but every time you have tried it you just kill everything. Sound familiar? You just need to learn a few basic techniques to help turn your brown thumb a pretty shade of green. Container gardening is a great way to learn how to garden and is essential if you don’t have a large area to garden in as well. Here are few container gardening basics for the newbie.


Before you spend a dime on supplies, take a minute and do a recon of the area that you are going to place your container garden. How many hours of sunlight does it get? You need to know if your space has 3 hours of sunlight or more like 8. Almost all plants do better with more sunlight, but you can find some shade loving ones if you find that your space is lacking in the sunlight department.


Going to the garden center can be a bit overwhelming at first. Start with the potting soil – and yes, it does make a difference as to what brand you buy. The brands I have had the most success with are Black Gold, Fox Farm, and Supersoil. For a good organic fertilizer grab a bag of Earthworm Castings, Blood Meal, and Bone Meal. Every month mix one cup of the castings and two tablespoons of the blood and bone meal to a bucket of potting soil and top off your container plants.

Pick up a few containers to start with – the larger the better. Most plants will do best in at least a 2-gallon pot and don’t even bother buying those smaller 4- or 6-inch containers. Next, drill 3-4 holes that are a quarter-inch in diameter on the bottom of plastic containers for drainage. If using ceramic, put down 2 inches of rocks on the bottom.

The Plants

For newbies, start with picking up a six-pack of your favorite flowers or veggies. Fill the pot up with your organic potting soil. Gently tease the plants out of their plastic containers and plant them at least 4-6 inches away from each other in. Pack the soil up around the plants. Water the pot until the water comes out the bottom. Wait an hour and then water it again. Water every few days as the plants settle in.

Welcome to the gardening club!