University of Florida

Container Gardening

If you have a small area or don't have the capacity to grow a large garden, consider container gardening. Gardening in containers can be just as rewarding as having a full-size garden. Many plants grow in pots just as well as they do in the ground.

There are a few things to consider when planning for a successful container garden. The first is the plants. If you are planting more than one plant in the same pot, which many do for an attractive and interesting container garden, be sure that all your plants meet the same requirements.

Requirements to consider are amount of light, amount of water, and fertilizer scheduling. Also be sure that the size of the container matches the size of your plant. Some other things you might consider when planning your container garden are height, color, and texture. Variations of these elements will make your container gardens more attractive and very interesting to look at.

When watering your container gardens, the best time to do so is in the morning. Watering in the morning allows your leaves and soil to dry out, preventing diseases and viruses. You should water your plant accordingly. You should check to see if your plants need watering before adding more. Overwatering is the most common reason for container plants dying. If you push your finger into the soil, this should give you an idea of how moist or dry the soil is. Do not water a plant if the soil is already moist.

When it comes to fertilizing your container gardens, fertilize only as needed. Over-fertilization will result in a buildup of salts and will burn the roots of your plants. Fertilize your plants during the growing season, and only if needed during the dormant seasons.

The most important thing is to be creative with your container gardens. Try a variety of plants in one container garden. Something else fun to try is to let your students paint designs on the containers.

Don't limit your container gardens to flowers--many vegetables can be grown in a container and actually do quite well. There really is no limit to what can be done in a container!

A school garden can become an integral part of your classroom and may ultimately improve student learning. Teachers throughout the country are finding that learning in such a way is enjoyable to both the students and themselves.

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