Container gardening is fun but at the same time challenging too, but these container gardening tips can make things easier for you!
1. Avoid Using Garden Soil
It doesn’t mean that you can’t grow plants in usual soil you dig out from the backyard but for best results, use potting mix. You can either buy or prepare it yourself. For your help, we’re providing the link to this excellent Potting Mix DIY Recipes article available on Fine Gardening! If you want to use the garden soil, you’ll need to amend it. Mix it together with compost or well-rotted manure, peat, coir, etc. so that it will become light.
Reason: Garden soil is heavy, the water can’t drain from it freely. Clay particles in soil fit tightly together and prevent water from draining away and air from entering, which is not good for plant’s roots.
2. Change Potting Soil Periodically
It is important to change your potting soil periodically; say once in a year for an optimum growth of your plants. You may think it’s a costly idea. Obviously, potting mixes are not cheap, and you can’t buy them again and again. To avoid this, make your own potting mix. There is no need to splurge your money on buying commercial mixes. We’ve shared the link above already, and you can also find dozens of recipes on the web. *If you don’t want to change soil, scrap and replace 1/3 of the top layer of soil with organic matter like compost or manure.
Reason: Soil in a container for months and years gets compacted, this thwarts the drainage and aeration. Depletion of nutrients and increase of the significant roots of the plant is possible too. Also, this soil changing procedure is most important if your plant is suffering from soil-borne diseases.
Check out diy soil tests you can perform at home here
3. Don’t Fill the Container to the Top
Most of the container gardeners do this, filling the pot to the top. While it doesn’t do any harm to your plant, it makes watering a difficult job. The best idea is to leave an inch of space between the rim of the pot and top layer of the soil.
Reason: This is the bad practice as it causes water to run over the edge and soil to spill out.
4. Consider Plants and Climate at the Time of Preparing Soil for Containers
This tip is simple but often overlooked when planting container plants. Each plant requires different soil type. Succulents need well-draining soil that doesn’t retain moisture, whereas some plants prefer soil to be consistently moist like the calla lily.
Also, consider your potting soil type based on where you will be keeping them and your climate. For example, a plant kept outdoor in a hot tropical climate is going to need soil that retains some moisture and remains cool compared to a plant in a container in the cold climate.
Reason: Plants are not same and can’t be grown in the same type of soil. This is the most common reason for dying of plants unexpectedly.