No worries if you’re short on space or rocking an apartment—gardening in an urban environment is still possible! This guide has got your back, breaking down the steps to get your container garden rolling and transform even the tiniest spots into lush, green retreats.
|Plants or seed
|Determine a location
|Select the plants you want
|Choose the right container
|Gardening gloves (optional)
|Add potting mix
|Place your plants in the container
Step 1: Assess Your Location
When scouting the perfect spot for your container garden, start by assessing your location and taking a look at the available light levels to determine which plants will perform best in these areas. Some like a full 6–8 hour sunbathing session, while others are okay with a bit of shade.
Then, decide if you’re going to keep your container indoors or outdoors! This will depend on the types of plants you get.
- Indoor locations: Windowsills and sunny indoor areas
- Outdoor locations: Balcony, doorstep or patio
Step 2: Select the plants you want
Believe it or not, there’s a wide variety of plants that thrive in containers. However, some deserve a spot in your garden bed rather than a pot.
- Flowers like zinnias and marigolds, as well as veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and herbs such as basil and thyme, are container champs.
- On the other hand, pumpkins, melons, and cauliflower are best left to roam freely in the garden.
You can even try your hand at cultivating some dwarf fruit trees for a unique touch. Just remember to be practical with your plant choices, making sure they can comfortably coexist in the space you’ve designated. Learn more about some of the best plants for containers here.
And remember to make sure the plants you want can all fit in the allotted space you have.
Step 3: Choosing a container – the beauty of Grow Bags
Along with the many different plants you can choose from, there’s also a lot of containers that plants can grow in. Our favorite containers are grow bags and here’s why:
- Handles for easy moving: Convenience is key, and that’s why every fabric grow bag comes with handles. They make it a breeze to move heavy plants around. So, whether you’re rearranging your garden or need to bring your plants inside during colder months, these handles have got you covered.
- Temperature control: These grow bags are like cozy blankets for your plant’s roots. The individual fibers in the fabric act like a comfy blanket, regulating temperature—keeping them cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Eco-friendly: These grow bags are not just great for your garden but also for the planet! They’re made entirely from 100 percent PET BPA-free material, sourced from recycled water bottles.
- Space-saving: They save space and are perfect for locations where gardening room is limited. Whether you have a small balcony or a cozy corner, grow bags let you make the most of your space.
- Durable: Grow bags are built to last for several growing seasons. They can handle the elements and stand the test of time, which means less hassle and cost for replacements.
- Look: Grow bags can add a touch of style to your garden. They come in various sizes and colors, so you can choose the ones that complement your plant choices and match your design aesthetic.
- Drainage: These bags are experts at drainage. They allow excess water to escape, preventing water-logging and ensuring your plants stay healthy.
- Size options: You’ll find grow bags in different sizes, making it easy to match them to your plants’ needs—whether you’re growing sturdy-rooted tomatoes or herbs like thyme.
- Prevents root-bound plants: Their breathable material encourages healthy root growth, so your plants can reach their full potential.
Step 4: Add potting mix
Regular garden soil doesn’t have drainage, aeration, moisture control or nutrients necessary for potted plants. Go with a potting mix—not potting soil—or compost. The mix should hold moisture and nutrients around your plant’s roots, be light and airy and provide structure for your plants.
Step 5: Position your plant in the container
- Begin by filling the bottom third of the container with a potting mix.
- Then, carefully remove the plant from its nursery container by gently squeezing the sides to release the root ball and sliding it out.
- Position the plant at the center of the container and surround it with more potting mix, leaving about 1 inch of space below the container’s rim.
- Water the plant thoroughly until excess water drains from the bottom.
- Lastly, adjust the potting mix level (if needed) and water the plant regularly based on its specific requirements.
Step 6: Arrange your garden
Now that you’ve got your plants snug in their pots or grow bags, it’s time to arrange your garden.
- Consider height: Place taller plants towards the back or center of your garden and shorter ones in the front. This not only looks great but also ensures that each plant gets its fair share of sunlight.
- Color coordination: Think about the colors of your blooms and foliage. Group plants with complementary colors together for a harmonious look or create contrast by pairing vibrant and subtle shades.
- Accessorize: Add decorative elements like garden ornaments, small sculptures, or even fairy lights to enhance the overall look of your container garden.
- Maintenance ease: Consider the maintenance needs of each plant. Place those that require more attention or frequent watering where they’re easily accessible.
With these steps, you can create a thriving container garden in your urban environment. The right materials and a thoughtful approach can transform even the tiniest spots into lush, green retreats.