Quick Guide to Container Gardening
These days more and more people are taking an interest in knowing where their food
comes from. Whether you’re concerned about your health, your food budget or the
planet – container gardening is a simple way to bring healthy, whole unprocessed food
back to your kitchen.
garden tools I recommend:
• trowel – use to dig
• soil scoop – use to transfer soil from bag to container
• pruners – use to trim leaves and dead flowers
• watering can w/rosettes – use to water plants evenly and gently
• 18in containers
• garden soil – use organic vegetable potting soil or a self-made mix of equal parts
peat moss, peat humus, compost and builder’s sand
• bedding plants – choose the right plant based on climate, growing habits, and
finally – food preference
quick tips to get started:
1. Choose your container
There are many options for gardening containers such as ceramic, wood & plastic.
Containers meet your aesthetic needs, as well as, be big enough to support full
grown plants, have drainage holes in the bottom and made without toxic chemicals
coatings. You don’t have to spend a lot on pots. Check thrift stores for sturdy, gently
2. Create proper drainage
Put holes in the bottom of your container for drainage so your plant roots do not stand
in water – which can lead to root rot. Many pots have indentations for holes that you can
punch through with a screwdriver.
3. Select healthy plants
Here’s the fun part! Bedding plants typically come 1 per pack or 4-6 per “tear-
apart” pack. Select plants carefully and choose healthy vibrant plants. Look for
plants with healthy white or pale yellow roots. Avoid the urge to buy blooming plants
- bushy compact plants will root better. Check the plant’s growing conditions – sun,
water, temp, and spacing to ensure it will thrive where you live.
4. Give ‘em space
Don’t overcrowd plants. Look to the plant’s label tag to find out how much space is
needed between plants for optimal growth. Completely cover roots and plant base with
organic potting soil and a light layer of mulch..
5. Water, but don’t flood
Water your plants regularly. But don’t over water. Check the weather and don’t water on
rainy days. Nature’s water is better than tap!
6. Take pictures
Take a photo of your garden on the day of planting. Use your photos to chronicle
growing conditions everyday so next time around you’ll know which things worked well
and which ones didn’t.
7. Cook and eat
The whole point of your garden is to eat it! Plan meals around the fruits and vegetables you are
growing. Nothing tastes better than a fresh summer tomato garnished with ribbons of basil from
your own garden. Search sites like www.Foodandme.net for quick ways to cook and eat your
Look at your garden every day. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to grow your own food – full
of nutrients and free of chemicals!!! Enjoy your growing experience and start planning for next
Tonya Peele is the author of Quick Wins for Healthy Eating: Easy Changes You and Your
Family Can Make Now! She blogs at www.foodandme.net
Photo Credit: Fire Escape Garden by By Saucy Salad