There’s not much better than fresh produce straight from the garden. The act of planting, tending, and growing something edible has a deep satisfaction to it, not to mention, it’s just plain yummy! What do you do, though, when a garden isn’t an option? Maybe you’re living in an apartment during this season of life. Perhaps you don’t have time to plow, weed, and tend a large plot. You could just not be into the responsibility of a full-blown garden. Regardless of the reason, you don’t have to give up on that fresh produce or the satisfaction of growing it. The solution: Garden in a Pot.
Gardens in a pot are a clever alternative to a larger, more high maintenance garden. They allow you to grow fresh produce in a convenient manner that will leave you running out to your pots for a quick snack of cherry tomatoes or a few sprigs of herbs to season dinner. Not only this, but it also provides beautiful decoration to a deck, stairs, or other outdoor areas.
If you are interested in a garden in a pot, then here’s the nitty gritty on how to have a successful garden that will produce delicious produce for you and your family right in a pot.
What type of plants work well in a pot?
There are many great plant options that do well in pots. The key is to make sure your pot is large enough for the plant you choose. The following are great choices of plants that are easier to grow in a container:
- Tomatoes (Cherry are best)
Squash, beans, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, and okra can also be grown in pots, but tend to not be as easy as the afore mentioned plants.
How many plants to a pot?
The amount of plants in a pot is completely dependent on the size of the pot and type of plant. A 5-gallon pot can support 1 tomato, 1, pepper, 30 radishes, 1 zucchini, 3-4 lettuce, 15 small carrots, or 10 chives. Herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and mint can be planted in the same pot together. Just don’t overcrowd the plants. You should also pot plants with similar sun requirements together.
Tips for successful potted gardens:
There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with a garden in a pot that are different from a typical garden.
Fertilizer—because these plants are contained in a pot, fertilizer becomes more important. Using slow release fertilizer twice a season is ideal, but if you choose to use water-soluble fertilizer like homemade compost or Miracle Grow, you may need to fertilize once a week.
Water—some plants require more water than others, but on the whole, it is important to keep potted plants well-watered. They are more reliant on water than plants in the ground. So, don’t forget to water those plants, but don’t drown them either.
Pots—we’ve discussed what size pots to use, but does material matter? It is mostly about personal preference. Plastic pots are light weight but aren’t always as durable. Terra-cotta or ceramic pots are gorgeous and heavy but can break. The important thing is that pots have holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain. Make sure to line the bottom of your pots with gravel or rocks too.
Support—some taller plants will need a stake or cage to support their produce and height. You can also train plants like cucumbers to climb up a lattice rather than outward to save space in a pot.
Decorating with garden pots:
Garden in a pot is about more than the produce. It is also about aesthetic. Combine pots of flowers with your pots of veggies and herbs for a beautiful display of color. You can also plant lavender for a dual-purpose herb/flower combo. Don’t forget to play with height too. By either using naturally tall plants or putting pots on blocks or stairs to vary height, you can create interest. Finally, don’t forget accessorizing your plants with colorful pots, aqua watering bulbs, or pinwheels.
Garden in a pot is a great way to get fresh produce in a unique way. It provides beauty to outdoor areas and is a great project for kids to help with! Some plants (particularly herbs) can even be brought inside during the winter for all year long produce. Just don’t forget to water them, and you’ll be a green thumb with an awesome container garden in no time!