Skip to main content

No Space for a Garden? Try a Container Garden!

Pots overflowing with foliage and color can not only add beauty to your deck, porch, or balcony but also serve a practical purpose for anyone with limited space for a garden. Flowers, herbs, and many veggies are happy to be grown in pots—and you can conveniently place edible plants right outside the kitchen door. Here are a few tips for a successful container garden.

1. Choose the right pots. There should be holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. It’s not necessary to add gravel or pot shards to the bottom to improve drainage. Instead, prevent soil from washing out by covering the hole with a layer or paper towel or newspaper. Lightweight containers made of fiberglass, resin, or plastic won’t absorb water like terracotta pots will, so your soil won’t dry out as quickly. Keep in mind that it’s easier to grow plants in large containers than small ones because they hold more soil, which stays moist longer and resists rapid changes in temperature.

2. Buy potting soil from your local garden center. Don’t use soil from your yard or garden—it can be filled with insects, weed seeds, and fungus. Potting soil will be a loose and light mixture of materials like peat moss, vermiculite, and organic matter. Then add a slow-release fertilizer to add nutrients.

3. Chose plants that are easy to grow in pots. If you’re looking to plant flowers, geraniums, petunias, begonias, and chrysanthemums are great choices. Some of the easiest veggies to grow in pots include tomatoes, potatoes, peas, radishes, hot peppers, and lettuce. Most herbs grow well in pots, but if you’re planting multiple herbs in one pot, consider their size and irrigation needs. Mediterranean herbs like sage, thyme, oregano, and rosemary all love a lot of sun and fairly dry soil. Moisture-loving herbs like cilantro, basil, parsley, and tarragon do well when grouped together.

4. Ask the experts. The staff at your local garden center will know what grows best depending on how much sunlight your pots will get, and they can also help you select the perfect pots, soil, and fertilizer.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Image's free newsletter to catch every headline