What are some good tips for creating a container garden on a small porch?

container gardening
by Kim TD

Question by Sunflower: What are some good tips for creating a container garden on a small porch?
I am interested in having a container garden on my apartment’s small porch this summer. It would be great to grow both vegetables and flowers here,( I live in Kansas, where summers are very hot and windy). What kinds of veggies would do well in pots, and what suggestions do you have for setting it up and maintaining it? I’m new to this, and have to do it “on a shoestring!” Thanks in advance!

Best answer:

Answer by Joanne A. W
My hubby and I do lots of container gardening…..even vegetables. Here is our method (USA):

Plastic pots 14 inches across the top.

Holds 25 pounds potting soil-we use Miracle-Gro Potting Soil with Plant Food for flowers (not vegetables-ask the clerk at the nursery for vegetable potting soil).

Mix water crystals into the top six inches of potting soil-these hold water so you do not have to water more than once per week when the temperatures hit 100 degrees.
Water well and leave it alone for a few days so the crystals can absorb the water. Do not plant or the swelling crystals will push your flowers up and out of the potting soil.

After a few days, mix 4 tablespoons Osmocote flower fertilizer into the top four inches of potting soil. Water in well and wait a day or so. There is also a vegetable Osmocote fertilizer. (Read and follow the directions on the container just in case your container is different from ours.)

Now you can plant. Water well.

Every 14 days fertilize with liquid fertilizer – we use Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster.
Check for a vegetable liquid fertilizer.

Stop fertilizing one month before your first autumn frost. But keep watering.

Let your flowers go to sleep after the first frost or take them indoors and place in a south facing window (sunny window).

Lightly water through the winter months, but do not fertilize.

Do not put back outside until all frost has past. We usually wait till the nights have reached 68 or 70 degrees.

Add the Osmocote fertilizer again each spring (or other good flowering fertilizer).

When flowers start failing, change the potting soil’s top 1/3 or 1/2, mix in well, add new water crystals, add fertilizer. Buy new plants. This is usually done every third spring.

Hint: Always water till it runs out the bottom. Wait a few minutes and then water again. This only need to be done about once per week to ten days when using the water crystals.

Happy gardening to you.

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