You can grow almost anything in a container. A simple potted basil plant could be considered a container garden, but there are so many other possibilities. Gardening in pots and containers gives you the ability to insure great soil, experiment with color, move your garden with the sun, and raise your garden to a comfortable working height. Maybe the best feature of container gardening is the ability to create a whole new garden every time. Here are some tips for success.
1. Establish the Size of Your Container Garden
Make sure there is enough room in the container for the plants and soil. Take into account the mature size of the plants and their growing habits. Upright growers will need a wide base for balance. Sprawlers will need a pot deep enough to drape over.
As the plants grow, the root systems will fill the pot and the soil will dry more quickly. It's OK to fill the diameter of the container with plants, but make sure there is plenty of room for the roots to move downward into soil.
Plant Selection We often leave the choice of plants to the very end of creating a container garden. It's not crucial that you know ahead of time exactly what plant you plan to use in your container garden, but you do need to consider a couple of key facts when deciding on a planter.
1. Can the plant survive in dry conditions?
2. What is the mature size of the plant you've chosen? Be sure you've chosen a pot that is big enough for the plant's root ball as it grows.
Exposure Will the container be exposed to the hot mid-day sun? Will it be in full sun all day? How about strong breezes? We've already mentioned that all pots dry out faster than soil in the garden, but certain exposures will exacerbate the situation. If you are planting in full sun, you will probably want a pot made from material that is not porous. Terra cotta dries out very quickly. Synthetic resin pots stay cooler and retain moisture longer.
Watering Is someone able to water everyday? If not, does the pot or container have a drip tray or a reservoir so that it can be filled from the bottom and soak up water as needed? Once a plant has been stressed from lack of water, it may never recover.
Mobility Do you need to move the pot around? Sometimes a planter on a deck needs to be moved for convenience. Maybe you want the ability to move your container garden where the sun or shade is or you plan on taking the container in for the winter. If you need the ability to move the pot for any reason, think twice about buying either a heavy or cumbersomely large planter. Concrete urns are gorgeous, but they should stay where you put them so as not to break either your back or the urn.
Taken from http://gardening.about.com/od/gardendesign/tp/ContainerGarden
Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa