How to Plant a Container Garden

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When planting a container garden, make sure the plants get enough sun, water and heat, and provide adequate drainage opportunity. Keep container garden plants covered or inside during the winter with tips from a sustainable gardener in this free video on container gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening & Plant Care
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Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to talk about how to grow a container garden. So any plant that can grow outside, can grow in a container. Whether you have a container garden inside or outside, it really doesn't matter. As long as the plants get enough sun, water and heat, they will grow. So when you're planting a container garden, the trick is to make sure that you have good drainage. Because a lot of containers don't have holes in the bottom. So either add holes, or make sure and fill the bottom part with gravel and sticks and moss and rocks, or anything to give it some air underneath. Because the trick with container gardens, is you never let plants sit right in water. They need to drain. And so when you're deciding what to plant in a container garden, do your research, and if it's a really large plant, don't put it in a small pot. It's better to put large plants in big pots. And I've found, the larger the container, the better plants will do. And even if you mix up flowers and vegetables, they all work well together. And the larger containers don't need to be watered as often, they don't dry out as quickly, and they'll make it over the winter easier. So pretty much any container garden will grow in the sun, or in the shade if it has enough heat and if it's a shade plant. Now the trick with container gardens is a lot of plants will survive over the winter in the ground. But in container, what happens is they freeze solid and turn into an ice cube. And then you loose a lot of them over the winter. So even plants like Calla Lilies which would survive in the ground, if you're in a milder climate, they will not survive in a pot if they sit wet, and turn into an ice cube over the winter. So just by putting them up against the eaves, or throwing them in the garage, or putting a tarp over them for the winter, and keeping them dry in the winter, you will find that your container gardens will do so much better than if you leave them wet all winter long. Because most plants need a dormant period, and they don't need a lot of sun at that time, or a lot of water at that time. So just cut everything back when it turns brown, let it die back, and then just keep it on the dry side. And when you're cleaning up your container garden, my rule of them is if it's green and lush leave it be, if it's brown, cut it out. And most plants will grow back again. So even if you think you've killed that plant in your container garden, by just letting it dry out, and water it again in the spring, it will come back to life and you can enjoy it for another year.

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