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Guide to Container Gardening

Container gardens are the perfect option for people who enjoy gardening, but have limited space, poor soil conditions or are unable to take care of a full sized garden.

Container gardens are the perfect option for people who enjoy gardening, but have limited space, poor soil conditions or are unable to take care of a full sized garden.  You can easily place containers on your porch, deck or even apartment balcony and enjoy all the benefits of a full-sized garden. Best of all, it's easy to bring them indoors if the weather gets too cold.

The first step in planting a successful container garden is to choose the right pot for your plant. Size is important when selecting a vessel, and the larger the plant is, the larger the pot needs to be. Make sure your pots provide proper drainage for the plants, too. There should be 3 to 4 holes in the bottom of the container and they should be about ˝ inch in width. You may need to line the pot with newspaper or mesh to prevent soil loss. An inch of gravel on the bottom of the pot will also help with proper draining.

Now it's time to get your hands dirty. The success of your plants depends on proper soil, and most plants thrive in an all-purpose soil mixture. Espoma Potting Soil is a favorite used by many gardeners.

The most exciting part of planting a container garden is choosing the plants. Spruce up boring, small spaces by selecting plants, shrubs, trees and flowers that are colorful and have a unique appearance. 

KnockOut Roses are a great choice for containers. They are low maintenance and produce stunning blooms until the first frost.  The attention-grabbing Red Dragon Maple, with its brilliantly colored red-burgundy leaves, will add interest and beauty to any balcony or patio if it is provided light shade. If you're looking for an attractive and unique shrub that enjoys full sun, consider the Razzle Dazzle Crape Myrtle. It produces flashy flowers in the summer and has beautiful red/orange foliage in the fall. 

When planning your container garden, why not include a few fruit trees in the mix? Not only will they add fragrance and beauty to your container garden, but you can also bring them indoors so you can enjoy their fruit during the long winter months.

One fruit tree that is an ideal candidate for a container garden is the Key Lime Tree. Aside from producing a delicious lime, this tree has lush green foliage and fragrant, white flowers, which makes it a beautiful addition to any indoor or outdoor space.

Other citrus varieties such as the Clementine Tree and the Variegated Eureka Lemon Tree also thrive in pots and provide delicious fruits for you and your family all year long.  If you live in cooler northern regions, simply bring them inside and they will continue their bounty.

If you're looking to bring an exotic flavor to your surroundings, the Black Bamboo--with its beautiful ebony canes--will certainly do the job. European Palm Fans are a great way to give your pool, patio, veranda or any indoor space a tropical beach vibe.

The key to success with planting in containers is to water regularly and fertilize the plants so they recoup the nutrients they've used up. Espoma's 100% organic Plant-Tone is a good choice for general feeding no matter what you've got in your containers.

The best thing about container gardening is that your options are unlimited. You don't have to worry about soil conditions, light exposure or location. You can select almost any type of plant and with just a little care and attention--your container garden will flourish.