Written by – Kaitlynn from MIgardener
Sometimes a giant raised bed garden with a potager inspired design just isn't an option for you. Maybe it would be too physically draining, time-consuming, or you don't have the space needed for a project like that. Maybe you are a complete beginner looking for baby steps in the right direction. Luckily, container gardening is the key for anyone who feels like their gardening dreams are out of reach!
With these simple tips, anyone hoping to start a container garden is sure to be on the right track. For beginners especially, container gardening can be a wonderful teacher. Through trial and error, you will learn the growing habits of each plant. This will help you if you want to expand your horizons in the future.
Let's get started.
Step 1: Save money on materials
Buying affordable seeds at the beginning of the season will help to save you loads of money on starters for each plant. One of the most important steps in container gardening is choosing or mixing the perfect potting mix. Using homemade compost is obviously the cheapest way to fill your planters. However, using the cheapest potting mixes you can find will work just fine for most varieties.
Step 2: Be creative with your containers
Before you go shopping, take a look around your house and see if you can find anything that could be upcycled into a planter. As long as the container has drainage (holes in the bottom) it can be used for planting! For example and inspiration: gallon ice cream tubs, milk cartons, unused plasticware, and even plastic comforter packaging are all perfect! If you are going to buy, don't break your bank. Dollar store containers, fabric shopping bags, and canvas totes, and kiddie pools work just as well! Some people find it easier to use a soil bag on its own! This technique usually offers a 2/4' bed automatically with no extra work for you!
Step 3: Spacing and Sunlight
Even in a container garden, MIgardener recommends high-intensity spacing. With bigger plants, add up to three plants per pot to get the most out of your container space. With smaller plants like herbs, lettuce, and spinach, you can crowd the plants (or seed) into the entire pot without worrying about a thing! There's nothing like an easy access cut-and-come-again garden whenever you need a salad. Another bonus to container gardening is sunlight. The majority of your planting pots will be mobile! Bigger plants will require full sun, while smaller ones require partial sun.