Best Container Gardening Tips for Beginners

Imagine the deck, patio, and walkway being surrounded by a sea of bush beans, peas, and tomatoes. How many vegetables thrive in containers is astonishing! The best gardening technique for people with little backyards or no yards is container gardening. Container gardening is the greatest option if you want to grow vegetables but have a small amount of room. Additionally, it’s an excellent approach for beginners to start cultivating vegetable plants.

Container Gardening Tips for Beginners

You can experience happiness and richness by growing veggies in containers. Biting into a tomato that has just been harvested and eaten fresh from the sun is a simple delight. Almost any vegetable can be grown in a container, which can help you avoid spending a fortune on produce at the supermarket. However, container gardening for vegetables can be a stressful undertaking if your plants don’t thrive and yield. It is useful to know that larger plants may require a deeper container with about 12 inches of soil for thriving.

For example, a 5-gallon container would work for plants like tomatoes and squash, but a smaller container is preferable for shallow-rooted plants like lettuce. Here are some additional suggestions for starting off well for you and your plants when growing vegetables in containers.

Additionally, container gardening is ideal for engaging children in gardening and food production. Little ones can more easily access containers, and you don’t have to worry about them walking on the plants by accident. Additionally, children who cultivate vegetables are more inclined to consume them! Who knows, they might even start asking for the salad with those leafy greens, or they might want to eat a tomato right out of the garden like an apple, or they might just want to snack on some green beans.

Read on to learn about the best container gardening tips for beginners:

Don’t Skimp on Drainage

Even while this might seem like an unusual initial suggestion, it could mean the difference between life and death for your plants. Your soil can become too damp, and the roots of your plants can rot if there isn’t a large enough hole or holes for water to escape from your pot. This can eventually kill the plant.

Unfortunately, many garden pots on the market lack adequate drainage. Larger holes can be drilled, punched, or carved to increase drainage. But sometimes, purchasing a pot with adequate drainage is simpler. A drainage hole must have a minimum diameter of 1/2 inch for small or medium-sized pots. Look for at least an inch in diameter for larger containers.

It is a complete misconception that you may improve drainage in your container garden by placing stones, gravel or broken pots there. Some claim that if you place these items in the bottom of your pots, you won’t even need drainage holes. You need holes in your pots, preferably a lot of them, unless you are an extremely careful container gardener who can water properly or you have a plant that like moist soil (and there are some who do).

Evaluate Your Light

Frequently, people vastly underestimate how much sunlight their containers receive. Although you may choose a beautiful plant for practically any amount of light, you must first determine how much light your container will receive.

Place your container where you want it, and then note how long the sun shines on it to determine how much direct light it will receive. You may calculate your sunlight with a sun calculator as well.

sunlight for plants

Feed Your Plants

The majority of potting soil lacks readily available nutrients for your plants; you must add them. The great majority of plants will require fertilizer to thrive in your soil. A slow-release fertilizer can be incorporated into potting soil. To accomplish this, either fill your pot with potting soil and then stir in the fertilizer or prepare a large quantity of potting soil combined with fertilizer in a bucket.

After that, fertilize once every two weeks or so with a liquid fertilizer, typically a fish emulsion and seaweed mix. Even though it stinks, it truly helps plants get the nutrition they require.

Many people use commercial fertilizer, and while applying it can feed your plants and aid in their growth at first, you will need to keep using it because this form of synthetic fertilizer will kill the helpful soil organisms. These organisms are essential to organic agriculture, so after you’ve used synthetic fertilizer, you must continue using it.

Make a List of Plants

Making a list of what you want before you visit the nursery is one of the greatest methods to prevent plant panic or, at the very least, to lessen it. Try to make a list of the pots’ sizes, quantities, and locations so you can buy plants that will fit the pots and know whether you need plants for sun, shade, or anything in between. The plants on this list don’t even have to match perfectly, but if you’re ambitious, you can browse online or in plant catalogs to find exactly what you want.

It is an excellent idea to bring your pot or a picture of your pot with you if that is possible. Mobile phones are perfect for this. Most nurseries will have a staff member on hand to assist you in making decisions. Additionally, the plants are arranged and labeled in most nurseries according to how much sun they need.

container gardening plants

Plant Good Neighbors

Make sure the plants you choose for your container will work well together. This implies that the amount of light and moisture needed by each plant in a pot should be the same. Some plants won’t survive if their needs are mixed with those of others. Thus, if you have a plant that needs full sun, you’ll want all the plants you chose for that pot to have the same need. You shouldn’t mix plants that prefer it moist with those that prefer to dry out between watering if you have a plant that does.

Check the plant tag or, if there isn’t one, ask a salesman to find out what the plant needs. If all else fails, try searching for it online.

Acclimate Your Plants

Many plants dislike sudden changes, so it’s best to gradually adapt them over time to variations in temperature, light, water, or exposure to the elements. This is vital for the majority of plants that have lived their entire lives in the cozy climate of a greenhouse and is especially crucial for young plants.

You must harden off your plants whether you buy seedlings in the spring or grow your own from seed. The likelihood of your plants thriving will be much diminished if you don’t go through with this slow and arduous process.

If you plan to overwinter them in a colder area, your plants may need some time to get acclimated to less light and dryer air.

Read and Save the Plant Tag

Plant tags are important. They’ll explain to you the size your plant will reach and the amount of food, water, and care it will require. The tag will also indicate whether your plant is an annual or a perennial and the zones in which it will flourish if it is a perennial.

The tag will also describe the “habit” of your plant or its shape and growth pattern. This is significant when deciding how to organize your plant combinations and the style of your containers. Using a large pot as an example, you could want some plants with “upright habits” to give your design height and then some plants with “mounding habits” to fill in the design. You might choose plants with “trailing habits” to drape over the sides of your pot to complete it.

plant tags

The More Potting Soil, The Better

There are many people who will advise you to fill your containers with various kinds of garbage, from milk jugs to packing peanuts. Your container garden will become substantially lighter as a result, but it will also dry out more quickly, making maintenance more difficult.

You will have a larger margin of error when it comes to watering and feeding your plants because the more potting soil you use, the more water retention you’ll have.

Plants Die Sometimes

You will kill more plants as you grow more of them. It’s that easy. Even the most experienced gardeners occasionally kill their own plants. It is a reality of gardening. Knowing when to give up on a plant is a challenge. It makes sense to give up very early in a mixed container garden so that the entire container doesn’t look bad.

There are a few options available to you when a plant starts to look awful. You can give a plant a drastic cutback and hope for the best, depending on the plant. This is all that is necessary for many plants, and in a few weeks, your plant will return joyful and stunning. ​

You can remove the unhappy plant and replace it with another one. Depending on how precious and/or dead the plant is, you can try to nurse it back to health by repotting it until you either can’t tolerate the way it looks any longer or it recovers.

However, if your plant is displaying serious illness symptoms, remove it right away, re-pot it, and either quarantine it or place it in a plastic bag and discard it.

dead plants

Garden How You Live

The bitter truth is that container gardening is labor-intensive. Although it doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be and requires time and attention. There is no such thing as a failsafe gardening or plant care method; even if you cover all your bases, some plants will do well, and others won’t.

Both good and bad news can be found in this. The whole project is thrilling, fulfilling, and essentially endlessly interesting because of all the uncertainty and hard work. Before you begin any type of gardening, consider how you live to maximize enjoyment and your chances of success. Whatever your response, there are container gardens that will fit into your way of life. You dislike water, do you? Succulents and other drought-tolerant plants should be grown. Lacking a lot of spare money? Create your own containers from found objects, or shop at yard sales and thrift shops. Choose huge, traditional-shaped containers and fill them with luxurious, attention-grabbing plants if you have a formal entryway and want a more personalized container design.

There are plants out there that will fit your aesthetic. Finding what works just requires some research and experimentation.

Final Words

Container gardening is perfect, especially if you love to grow vegetables or plants but don’t have enough space in your home or garden. It is an ideal thing to do, especially if you want to grow your favorite vegetables at home. In this article, we have mentioned the best vegetable container gardening tips for beginners. These tips will help you to learn more about vegetable container gardening and how you can benefit the most from vegetable container gardening. Keep reading our blogs to learn more about the best gardening tips and reviews about different gardening products.


What is the Most Challenging Part of Maintaining a Container Garden?

Assuring that plants are receiving the right nutrients to flourish as well as they can is one of the biggest challenges with container gardening. The nutrients in the soil are depleted as the plants develop and expand. Because nutrients are flushed out of the pot when we water plants, containers can also lose nutrients more quickly.

What Container is the Best to Grow Vegetables in?

The greatest options for producing veggies in containers are wooden planter boxes. They are attractive, available in all sizes, strong, widely accessible, and reasonably priced. Planters of wood perform well on hot balconies or decks since wood doesn’t heat up as much as plastic or ceramic pots.

How Do I Protect My Garden Container?

Burlap, bubble wrap, old blankets, or geotextile blankets can all be used to wrap pots. The root zone will retain heat thanks to the support of these protective covers. Since the roots require protection, the entire plant doesn’t need to be covered.

Which Shape of Container Works the Best for Container Gardening?

A square layout for container gardening might simplify watering because there are fewer spaces for water to pass through between planters. Compared to a round pot, a square pot offers more volume for the same height and more planting surface. This means there is more room to add nutrients and potting soil.

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