Container garden questions

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Marsh, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Marsh

    Marsh Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    I want to give some container gardeing a try. What kinda of medium do you use to grow them in?? Potting soil, garden soil, outdoor soil, seedling soil???? Lastyear we used some gardening soil and manure in the pots and they did great but soon died off. Maybe dried out too fast, poorly draining? I don't want to run into that again this year if possible. Anyone have any tips for me?
    I also will have a regular garden, I just like containers because it gives the little one her own thing and we keep them next to the barbque on the patio LOL

  2. plantpirate

    plantpirate Guest

    I do almost all of my gardening in containers, and I've had the best luck with potting soil. The soil where I live is very heavy and full of clay, so that's pretty much my only option. I can add whatever is needed to make it more suitable for the plants I have, without aggrivating the landlord, who doesn't like the yard dug up.


  3. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 12, 2004
    SW VA
    I too do a lot of container gardening. I have found it well worth the expense to add some water holding/releasing polymer crystals to the medium. Cuts down so much on the constant need to monitor the soil for drying out. Hydrosource is a brand name for the stuff. Gardeners Supply and other catalogs get about $10-12 a pound for the stuff. You can get it much cheaper than that on e-bay, repackaged by the sellers.
    I put chicken manure, straw, even sand in the bottom of a deep container to cut down on soil cost. I have done best starting out with the compressed bails of a product like ProMix. About $20 for 3 cu ft but that sure does fluff up when you start using it. Pricey at first but you can use the same base for many years by adding compost, fertilizer etc to it. Since the soil at my old place was pure sand I had to start somewhere. This will be my first year dealing with clay soil so I'll go with some containers till I get used to the soil here.

  4. violets

    violets Member

    Feb 21, 2004
    Manure? Was it composted manure? You may have burned the plants with it if it was not composted first.
  5. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    We mix our own potting soil with peat moss, vermiculite and compost. The containers work well for shallow rooted crops.
  6. sweet pea

    sweet pea New Member

    Apr 21, 2004
    Hi Marsh!
    Container gardening is a lot of fun, and they're easy to care for. The thing to remember is, each container is a separate little environment.
    When I start with a clay pot, I always submerge it and soak it for a few hours or overnight, to start off with a moist enviro right off the bat.
    Like Hank, I recommend the same mix of potting soil, and like PonderosaQ, the timed-release water-holding crystals. They're like little sponges that hold water.
    Good stuff for kids to start in pots are lettuce, sunflowers, nasturtiums...anything easy to grow. Seed Saver's Exchange has a container variety of peas called "Tom Thumb," and Jung's has a variety of tomatoes specifically for pots: "Window Box Romas" (I have some started right now).
    Like violets said, be careful with that manure - non-composted, it can burn the plants, and that's the end of that.
    Don't worry about any failures - the nice thing about pots is, you can always start again next year, learning from year to year. You might consider taking notes/journal about what you've learned. Good luck, and have fun! :cool: