How to Plant a Container Garden
Interested in learning how to plant a container garden, but aren’t sure where to begin? If so, join landscape designer Doug Scott for expert advice and tips that will help you successfully plant, grow and care for herbs and vegetable container gardens—right in your own backyard!
Container Garden Considerations
• Determine if you’ll be planting in a new or recycled container. At the same time, decide on the size you’ll need to fit your plans.
• Incorporate a “thriller, filler, spiller” planting approach with your container gardens. What this means is tall focal plants in back, middle layer plants that fill in, and plants that will cascade over the container in front.
• Use well-drained—not dry or overly wet—soil and bottom-draining pots with a peat-based potting soil specifically formulated for herbs and vegetables to facilitate proper soil drainage and moisture retention.
• Decide where you’ll be placing your container garden. Keep in mind that most herbs and vegetables require 6-8 hours of daily sunlight to thrive. So, you’ll want to either place them where they will receive enough light or be able to move them to follow the sun’s changing exposure. Of course, it’s always a good idea to refer to your plant’s care tag to determine its optimal location.
• Consider your plants’ specific water and fertilizer needs. Be aware that the soil in an outdoor container garden tends to dry out much quicker than plants kept indoors. So, keep in mind that you’ll probably have to water them every day—possibly twice a day in hot weather. You’ll also need to perform daily soil moisture checks. Where fertilizer is concerned, you’ll generally want to pour nutrient-rich liquid solution right into the soil every 2-4 weeks.
• When harvesting your herbs and vegetables, use this five-step method: Water them before you harvest; make clean cuts; keep them clean; dry your harvest quickly; and store them away from sunlight and moisture.