Not enough space for a garden? Why not try your hand at container gardening? This type of gardening lets you enjoy the benefits of having a garden no matter how little space you have. In simple terms, it is only a type of gardening which makes use of containers instead of the soil on the ground for growing plants.

How a container garden turns up is entirely up to you. It can be simple with only a few plants by the window sill involved. Up the ante and use a mixture of plants, trees and shrubs. The important thing here is to use a container at least two sizes larger than your plant. This allows your plant to have enough room for growth and its roots to stay healthy.

Why Do It?

Thinking of a reason to start a container garden but nothing comes to mind? Consider the following reasons and be convinced yourself:

It is easy. - Maintaining a container garden is so easy that even people with no prior experience can do it. Having a green thumb is preferred but is certainly not required. All you need is a container, a plant, some soil and fertilizer and you are good to go.

It is economical. - Anything that can hold the soil and plat can be used as a container. From fancy terra cotta pots to used milk jugs with the top cut off, the choice is up to you. In fact, a quick look around the house and you will find a

lot of items suitable for container gardening.

You can do it anywhere. - Even small spaces can play host to a container garden. As long as you have a container that can fit in a vacant space, you are good to go.

Grow plants in any condition. - Since you are planting outdoors, the choice of plants to grow is virtually limitless. More importantly, you can plant regardless of your location. There are even cactus gardens found as far as Alaska. The important thing is to make sure that your plant has the right conditions to grow.

It caters to any personality. - Growing plants on containers is flexible enough to suit anyone’s taste. Your garden can be as simple or as ambitious as you want it to be. It is all a matter of putting in the effort and the willingness to experiment to find the perfect look.

You can go organic. - Apart from going pretty, planting in containers also let you eat healthier. You can grow a variety of vegetables from tomatoes, peas and carrots among other. As such, container gardening can be your springboard into a healthier lifestyle.

It can bring gratification. - One of the simple joys of life is watching something grow. A container garden presents such an opportunity on an almost daily basis. You will never find anything else that comes close to this feeling.

A Few More Things to Consider

Apart from the container you intend to use, there are still a few other important things to keep in mind. In container gardening, the type of soil to grow your plants in is up to you. To ensure quality, never take soil from the yard and put it in your containers. Instead, buy some high-quality potting soil at your local garden supplies shop. Try to get one with built-in fertilizer as much as possible.

As for the containers, you are free to choose whatever you want. However, it is recommended to use matching containers to promote harmony in your garden. The same color or type of material all give a uniform look which make your plants go together. You want to stay away from containers with narrow openings though. Do not forget to punch a few holes at the bottom for drainage as well.

The amount of attention you have to put on your garden depends on the plants you grow. In most cases though, not much is required to take care of your plants. The occasional watering is enough. If you want more then you have to spare more effort.

Container gardening is a great hobby to take up. Ask around for advice and start your own garden today.

Most people assume that planting in containers or container gardening is the easiest way to grow plants and flowers. While that certainly makes sense in many ways, it does not mean that you can do just about anything and still have your plants grow beautifully and abundantly. There are still those mistakes which can permanently damage your plants and prevent them from ever growing as they should.

Lesson #1: You do not have to use soil for filling pots all the time.

Soil - especially the high-quality ones - can be pretty expensive. If you are using a large container for plants with shallow roots like succulents and herbs, you need not fill the entire container with soil. You can instead fill perhaps the bottom third of your container with plastic bottles (empty, of course) and just place a layer of plastic screening on top before you start filling the rest of the container with soil. This will not only save you money, but it will also mean less maintenance requirements for your plants’ soil as well.

Lesson #2: There is such a thing as excessive watering.

Sure, your science lessons back in middle school told you that water is good - make that vital - to plants. But you should also remember your lesson in philosophy, the one that says too much of something can kill you.

Plants can literally drown in too much water. You can, however, prevent that from happening by making sure that your containers come with sufficient drainage holes. If the original drainage holes it came with do not seem to be adequate, then go ahead and make your own holes.

One other thing you can do is to check if your soil is still sufficiently moist. Do not base your decision on the top layer alone. Stick your finger into the soil. If the tip of your finger is dry even though you have it in until the second knuckle, then it is probably a good time to start watering.

In the event that you do still end up watering your plants excessively and your leaves are starting to fall and turn yellow, move the container to a dry area that gets lots of winds immediately. If possible, have it dry out outdoors.

Lesson #3: Avoid under-watering as well.

If some people tend to water excessively because they are too worried about their plants, some gardeners are the opposite, believing their plants can still grow healthy even with minimal watering.

Even succulents such as cacti still need water to grow healthily. They can survive with minimal watering, but why starve them for water when there is no need for it? Most container plants require daily watering and especially during hotter months of the year. Also, plants that are fitted in tiny containers as well as hanging plants require more than daily watering as they do not have enough soil to store moisture.

To know if you have watered your plants sufficiently, stop only when water starts leaking out of your container’s drainage holes. If, however, you left your plants to dry out too long, there is still a chance to revive them. Those that are small enough should be dumped in a water container until they are completely submerged. Let them out only when air bubbles have subsided. Those that do not fit in any water container should have their soil continuously prodded to ensure that water gets well into the soil.

Lesson #4: Do not forget to consider the ratio between your plants and its container.

Do not overcrowd, in other words. Also, it is fine to have more than one plant in your container. But to make sure that they still look good, at least one of it has to be the same height as your container. Those that can have leaves and branches spilling over your container’s sides would also be great.

Lesson #5: Pruning is something you have to learn eventually.

So start early. Do not wait for the time that your plants have grown wild and uncontrollable or are unhealthy because of lack of pruning.