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Not everyone has the luxury of a backyard where they can plant a garden. Some areas have lackluster soil, others don't get enough water and some don't get enough sunlight. However, it is possible to bring your gardening indoors or onto a balcony or porch. Container gardens are convenient because you can still grow many of the same plants you would in a regular garden, like tomatoes, squash, cabbage, cucumbers, herbs and berries. With a Park Seed promotion code, you can save on the seeds you need to get started. Here's everything else you need to know.
Picking out your containers Almost any container that can hold soil and has drainage holes is suitable for plants, but you might want to think more about what your pots will look like. They should be at least 24 inches in diameter, which will give your veggies and herbs plenty of room to grow strong roots. The soil will also stay damp for longer in a bigger pot, allowing you to water less. The design on your pots might be particularly important if you're growing your plants indoors. You might be able to find a great deal on containers with an Avant Garden promotion code.
Choosing your plants You should pick what's going to go in your garden based on what conditions each plant will require. For example, if you live in a sunny area, you could choose vegetables and herbs that don't require as much sunlight. Look up which plants generally grow best in your area. You can put a variety of plants into each container, but it's important to ensure that they all have the same light, soil and water requirements. According to Real Simple Magazine, five to seven seedlings can fit in a 24-inch container. It's best to choose a large plant and a tall plant for the middle of the container, then fill in the edges with smaller ones.
Finding the right soil Soils to be used in containers should be well-aerated and well-drained. They should also be able to retain moisture for the plants. It's never a good idea to dig up your own soil from outside, as there might be microorganisms and other pests that could eventually damage your plants. Outdoor soil is too tightly packed in containers, so there won't be as much drainage or aeration. Use a Gardener's Supply Company promotion code to get 15 percent off of your potting soil order.
Preparing the soil Once you've chosen a suitable soil, you'll be ready to put it in the pot for planting. Moisten it first, then fluff it with your hands before adding it to the container. Be careful not to fill it all the way up to the edge of the pot, as you want to have enough room to water without any dripping over the sides. Keep in mind that you can use a filler at the bottom of your pot if you want to save a bit of money on soil - it can be expensive in large quantities. Anything from packing peanuts to aluminum cans or milk jugs can be used, according to the University of Illinois. Just place a piece of landscaping fabric over the material, which will prevent soil from getting in but still allow drainage.
Planting your veggies and herbs After the soil is prepared, you're ready to plant your seedlings. Dig a hole for each of your plants, keeping them about four to six inches apart. The holes you make should be specialized for each plant. For example, plants like cucumbers grow best in mounded soil. It's a good idea to research the plants you're growing and find out how they should be planted.
Supporting your plants Certain plants, like tomatoes and green beans, need to be staked in order to grow properly. Once your plants reach a certain height, it's a good idea to create a stake out of bamboo poles or twigs, then tie your plants to them. A tripod works best because it's more durable and won't fall over with wind.
Maintaining your plants After you're done planting, all that's left to do is ensure that your plants are getting everything they need. By now, you should know what each plant requires by way of sunlight and water, so place your containers accordingly and water when necessary. A good rule of thumb is to water whenever the surface of the soil and a couple of inches down into it feels dry. It's also a good idea to use fertilizer on your plants to make sure they have adequate nutrients. A DirectGardening promotion code can help you save on fertilizer.