Garden anywhere! For those of you who don’t have gardens, or your deer population is hungry enough to be unafraid of your back yard, container gardening is a great way to grow. Many of our varieties thrive in containers on sunny windowsills and porches. Read on for container gardening tips and our top picks of petite plants that pack a punch:
10 Tips for Container Gardening:
1. The bigger the plant, the bigger the pot should be.
2. The longer the plant takes to mature, the bigger the pot.
3. Fruiting plants (tomatoes, peppers etc) need more soil and more nutrients than greens (lettuce, Tatsoi etc)
4. Don’t over crowd. You can plant varieties a bit closer than normal in a pot, but crowding leads to weak spindly plants. One tomato plant in a big pot will actually produce more tomatoes than 4 tomato plants in the same size pot.
5. Pots are thirsty. They dry out quickly. Keep pots evenly moist, trying not to let them dry out between watering or get too saturated.
6. Make sure there are drainage holes. (Some folks say gravel or sand at the bottom helps as well but see comment below about possible problems with this.)
7. Container plants still need lots of sun. If you have part shade stick to herbs and greens.
8. Rooftops can be windy. If you’re growing containers on the roof, consider setting up some kind of windbreak, like lattice, that won’t cast shade.
9. Use a light potting mix but make sure you have nutrient rich compost mixed in.
10. Succession sow. Since you are growing in a small space, plant some seeds, let them grow, eat your harvest, and plant some more. Just make sure to add compost and nutrients between sowings. Learn more about succession here.
11. BONUS TIP: Check out Kerry Michaels. She's an expert northeast container gardener up in Maine. Her about.com page is full of photos, ideas, instruction, and inspiration for growing in containers. Also, take a look at this Container Gardening Factsheet from Cornell University, which includes a container size chard for various vegetables as well as comprehensive pest and disease information.
Blog post continues below!
Tiny, spicy peppers are beautiful on the bush and dried.
Root Pouch Planter with Handles
Glimmering Lettuces Cute Enough to Eat
Root Pouch Planter with Handles
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Here are a few recommendations. But don't limit yourself! Gardening is about experimenting. We've heard of people growing all sorts of unconventional varieties successfully in containers.
VEGETABLES FOR SMALL SPACES:
- Tiny Tim Tomato
- Sweet Salad Pepper
- Ultimate Salad Bowl
- New Yorker Tomato
- Variegated Nasturtium
- Tatsoi Asian Green
- Rainbow Chard
- Bloomsdale Spinach
- Piracicaba Broccoli
- Mesclun Mix
- Matchbox Pepper
- Tom Thumb Lettuce
- Tom Thumb Pea
- Shanghai Baby Bok Choy
- Mustard (tendergreen, red giant)
- Braising Mix
- Little Gem Lettuce Mix
EDIBLE HERBS FOR CONTAINERS:
- Gigante d'Italia Parsley
- German Thyme
- Summer Savory
- Salad Burnet
- Greek Oregano
- Basil Bouquet
FLOWERS FOR POTS:
- Flashback Calendula Mix (and one-color Calendula)
- Nasturtium (Variegated or Trailing)
- Heavenly Blue Morning Glory
- Johnny Jump Up
- Sea Shells Cosmos
- Pumilla Zinnia