Supplemental Talk: Container Gardening 

Growing in containers is an excellent way to decorate your space, grow delicious and beautiful plants, and adapt to your environment. This way of growing can be more manageable for beginners, and potted plants can easily be moved wherever is needed. Water, nutrients, soil, and size requirements are the biggest areas of focus for potted plants.

Mobilize your Motivation: 

  • Container gardens are an easy and beautiful way to improve your mental health, beautify your space, and provide convenient access to delicious, home-grown produce. Consider what function your container plants will serve for you and your space.

Pick your Pot: 

  • Terracotta: The porous nature of unglazed terracotta means your plants may need water more often, but are less susceptible to root rot
  • Plastic: Lightweight and versatile. Some studies show that the chemicals in certain plastics can leak into the soil, so proceed with caution if growing edibles. 
  • Metal: Durable and long lasting. But they can heat up rapidly if placed in full sun, potentially leading to dry soil and damaged plant roots. 
  • Grow bags: Plastic or fabric grow bags are best for plants with shallow roots. They’re cheap, lightweight, reusable, and portable. 
  • Environment
    • Will your container live primarily indoors or outdoors? 
    • Is your area wetter or dryer on average? 
  • Drainage
    • Fine potting soils hold moisture, while coarse potting soils drain better 
    • A layer of rocks does not improve drainage, and can cause root rot
    • Compost/organic matter can add nutrients and improve water retention.
  • Nutrition
    • While not essential to find already mixed into a potting soil, container plants benefit from regular applications of a slow-release fertilizer
    • Look for the N:P:K value on the bags, lower numbers = gentler.

Pick your Plant: 

  • Container fruits: blueberries, citrus trees, dwarf varieties 
  • Container veggies: peppers, tomatoes, kale, cabbages etc.

When to Water: 

  • Try the knuckle test: Stick your finger in the soil near the base of the plant, to about the second knuckle. If soil is bone dry and room temp, water deeply and thoroughly. If not, leave it be.