Container gardening: basics
When planting in a container, always use potting soil that contains perlite or bark so the pot has good drainage and enough organic material to absorb and hold moisture. the amount of water needed for container gardening will depend a great deal on whether the container is placed in a shady or sunny spot, weather conditions and the type of plants used. Smaller containers and clay pots will need to be watered more often than large pots or plastic pots.
Check the soil every day for a couple of weeks by sticking a finger about two inches into the soil. this will help you get a sense of how often the plant needs to be watered. In hot summer months, plants may need water in the morning and again at night. On a 95 degree day with a 30 mph breeze, most pots will be dry by the end of the day.
Most container gardens will need to be fertilized regularly. Again, how often will vary depending on the type of plants and soil. Most annuals, perennials and vegetables will either need a time released fertilizer or a fertilizer mixed with water weekly.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s) and Master gardener garden Notes.
- Flowers for Mountain Communities
- Vegetable garden: Soil Management and Fertilization
- Container gardens
Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!
Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013