Container gardening is far from a new invention. Humans have been growing plants in vessels since soon after the Neolithic Revolution thousands of years ago. While the methods and materials we use have certainly changed over the years, our intent has not. We continue to grow plants in containers to provide food and beauty for ourselves and those we love.
At the beginning, humans who grew plants in pots may have done so to overcome adverse soil conditions, more carefully tend a highly treasured medicinal plant, or focus irrigation needs on a smaller area in places where water was scarce. Today’s gardeners, however, have a far more diverse list of reasons for growing plants in containers. Yes, many of us still use containers to avoid having to garden in soil with poor drainage, contaminants, or lousy fertility, and we still use them to grow coveted plants. But we also grow plants in containers to save time and space, reduce weeding and other chores, beautify our living spaces, and show off our creativity and sense of personal style.
Container gardening allows us to grow our own fresh food, even in a very limited space, and it affords a level of flexibility not found when growing these plants in the ground. With container gardening, we can feed our families without ever having to turn the sod, spread wheelbarrows of mulch, or fire up even a single piece of gas-powered equipment. Heck, you don’t even have to own a shovel to grow plants in containers.
We’re also gardening in pots for purposes beyond ourselves. We’re designing plantings to attract and support butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, and we’re filling containers with nectar plants for hummingbirds and berries for songbirds. We’ve come to recognize that habitat container gardening is a wonderful way to help all sorts of wildlife, without requiring a lot of space or effort.
But growing a thriving container garden requires more than simply filling a container with dirt and sticking a couple of plants in it. Paying careful attention to container choice, soil composition, plant selection, and maintenance needs always pays off in spades, increasing your chances of having a healthy, productive container garden. That’s where this section comes in. The purpose of this section is to hand you all the tools you’ll need to make smart choices and filter through the myriad options available to today’s gardeners.
In this section, you’ll learn about the three pillars of successful container gardening and the critical role they play in ensuring your success. You’ll learn how choosing the right container influences plant growth and how to blend the best mixture of potting soil to fill it. These basics are covered in depth in upcoming posts, setting the stage for advice on properly siting your container garden to optimize growth.
Once you see how fun and easy gardening in containers is, and how, with just a little forethought, you can harvest armloads of homegrown goodies from the smallest of spaces, you’ll come to love growing in containers as much as I do. There’s a whole new world of gardening right here at your fingertips. Let’s get started.
If you have a container garden already then this might help you – Basics of Container Gardening.