Container gardens are ideal for small spaces like patios and decks. They're easy to create, but it's important to keep these tips in mind to give your container garden a great life.

Container gardening is easier than you think. For the best plants possible, all it takes is a little maintenance and extra care to get there. Check out these five basic steps on container gardening to help your gardens last all season.

Plant in Potting Mix

pouring soil into container garden

Don't think you can just dig a hole in your yard and use that soil in your plant containers. Bad move: That dirt is too compacted. It doesn't offer enough air, nutrients, or moisture to support a container garden. Instead, buy a bag of potting mix that's lightweight and holds water better.

Water Your Plants

plastic-jug watering can

Don't let plant containers dry out—it stresses the plants. Water in the morning or at night. If a plant is droopy, it's getting too much water. If it's shriveling, it's not getting enough. Feeling the soil is another good way to test whether your beginner container garden needs water. If the top inch or so layer of soil is dry, your container garden needs water.

Drain It

drill drain holes container

All plant containers need to have a few holes in the bottom to let extra water drain. Allowing too much water to build up in your plant container risks root rot. If your container garden doesn't have holes and you don't feel comfortable drilling new holes, put your plants for containers in a slightly smaller container with holes. Add rocks or bricks to the bottom of the bigger plant container and set the smaller plant container on top.

Give It Food

Compost, dirt, worms, garden, gardening

Mix some compost into the top couple inches of the container garden. Compost improves the texture of your soil, helping bind nutrients and moisture to aid in plant growth. You can also add some just-for-containers fertilizer every few weeks.

Remove Dead Flowers

container garden

If your flowers are fading, it's time to give them a boost. Pluck off the dead blooms in your plant containers to rejuvenate your plants. This process is called deadheading and will encourage new flowers to bloom in their place.

Comments (4)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 13, 2018
Put a note on social media explaining the circumstances and ask if anyone has spare cuttings etc.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
May 15, 2018
Thank you for sharing.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
April 21, 2018
I belong to a new gardening club here in the senior living facility here I now live. We're trying to start this club to give retires something to look forward to each and every day as we work together to get out garden started. Our problem is cost, most of us don't have much money at all and we're starting totally from scratch on a shuffleboard court that isn't used. We hope to make it mostly a raised bed garden where those of us in wheelchairs are able to reach the gardens from all sides. Our community is getting excited now and waiting for some funding to be given towards out project. We'll send a photo or two once it's well underway.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
April 21, 2018
Love this valuable information! Great job!