Owning Your Outdoors: Container Gardening

This week, Lewis yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder, has tips and suggestions for gardening in containers.

Whether you're planting in a pot, a raised garden bed or even a decorative garden wall, there are lots of reasons why container gardening is becoming more popular. Baby boomers are getting older, it'e easy and convenient for people that live in apartments, condos and smaller homes. Container gardens take less time and are easier to maintain and they're a great way to introduce children to gardening.

Here are some suggestions for chosing the right container and the plants that go in them.

Choosing the right container:


  1. Larger is better. Especially with any vegetable that will have a large root system.

  2. What the container is made of is important. Clay pots have a tendency to dry out faster. Plastic, resin and glazed pottery will maintain moisture.

  3. Sun is important so maybe add a trolley to your container so you can roll it to sunny location.

  4. Whimsy and color can add to appearance on the container.

What to plant and how:


  1. Use a fertilizer enriched soil and remember you will need to fertilize every few weeks.

  2. Doug put together a list of varieties that he suggests for containers. You can download that list by clicking the link to the right. 

  3. Mix vegetables and herbs in one container. Use companion list of plants that are compatible.

  4. Consider adding flowers to your vegetables for color. I recommend. Marigolds and Petunias. They draw bees for pollinating your vegetables. Plus marigolds keep some pests away.

  5. Consider adding a colorful tomato cage for your tomato or for vine crop to grow on. Whimsical stakes can also add to your container.

  6. Remember containers require extra watering.