Gardening is a hobby that serves as a creative outlet for many. In a time when protecting the environment has become a major cause for concern, container gardening is a small contribution we can make to better the overall ecosystem. At the same time, it can also serve as the source for home grown vegetables that are fresh and can constitute a healthy diet. While gardening is a hobby that comes with multiple benefits, in this article, we are going to discuss the best flower seeds for container gardening.
Flowers, especially in containers provide a unique aesthetic in homes where a proper garden is not available. From a balcony in a high-rise building to even the office window, container plants can fit in everywhere. However, container gardening is an art that requires knowledge about a few basic elements. DIY container gardening for beginners can be a bit challenging for with practice, you can get a hang of it very soon.
DIY Container Gardening Basics
Before we begin to list the best flower seeds for container gardening, it is only right to offer an overview for people who are looking to start the activity at home. Container gardening is a soothing pastime for anyone who loves nature. Whether it is flowers, vegetables or fruits that you are growing, this is a hobby that brings immense mental and visual rewards. Watching your plants thrive on their own is a sight to behold at time.
Here are some of the basic things that a beginner needs to know:
Picking the Ideal Container
The container will serve as the home for the plant and it is the first as well as most essential element when starting to grow a container garden. It is therefore crucial to pick the right one. The first thing to consider in a perfect pot or container is that it should offer adequate drainage for water. Without a way for water to pass through, stagnant moisture can cause a lot of problems that eventually kill the plant and put all your energy to waste.
The second thing to consider is the size of your container. It is important to do your research on the plants that are going to be put in each container. The root size of each flower, vegetable or fruit varies considerably. Depending on the seed being planted and its respective root size, the container should be slightly larger in size than the overall space that roots of this plant will take. A container that is too large can hold excessive water leading to root rot amongst numerous other issues.
When picking a container, aesthetics is also a key factor. Obviously, you are trying to make your home look good through the plants or flowers. The pot itself will have a major role in this as well. You can either buy simple clay pots and decorate them in creative ways or buy handmade containers with intricate designs and paint. This is more down to personal preference and a person can go in the direction that suits them.
Selecting the Best Soil
One of the most vital elements to bear in mind before picking the best flower seeds for container gardening is the soil. Soil provides essential nutrients and medium for effective growth to the plants. In some cases, it also acts as a catalyst to facilitate faster growth or provide other traits to the flowers, vegetables or fruits being planted. Today, different types of soil are available in the market but container gardening has different requirements.
For growing plants in containers, all-purpose potting soil is the best fit. This type of soil is readily available at local stores and it provides the ideal home for any plant to grow when the space is limited. Preferably pick one that contains perlite or vermiculite as these elements allow adequate drainage. Peat moss, bark and compost are some of the things that act as agents that hold water. These are organic matter to help the soil retain some water and not lose all of it.
As a beginner, it is important to know that any soil you buy will require care and a few additions depending on the plants that have to be grown. Make sure that you inquire if the soil that you are buying will work with the flower or vegetable that you intend to grow in the container. A professional gardener or someone in your circle who has extensive knowledge in the field can offer their services quite effectively in this regard.
The Plants Which Work Best in Containers
Naturally plants require large spaces as their roots spread extensively for strength and nourishment. However, there are flowers or fruits that can be grown in adequate size containers. A plant mostly spreads its roots in search of nutrients to absorb and if it can find that close-by, in some cases the network spreading is not very extensive. This is an element to look up beforehand as otherwise plants can wilt eventually.
When picking out the best flower seeds for container gardening, you can mix and match. Pick out different shapes which can include but shouldn’t be limited to spikes, also known as Thrillers, trailing plants and mounding ones to act as space fillers. Together these plants provide an ideal combination that builds up a beautiful aesthetic for your home or any other place where you are intending to place the container with the plants.
Best Flower Seeds for Container Gardening
The answer to this question is a subjective one. There are many flowers that can easily grow in containers but the ideal one can depend on the season and the overall climate of the area where you live. Some of the best flower seeds for container gardening include:
Zinnia is a beautiful and vibrant flower that grows throughout summer and spring. They are mounding plants and can grow as much as 9 to inches in height and width. Ideal growing condition for Zinnia is when the temperature is about 60o Fahrenheit. The beauty of this flower is that it can grow anywhere and doesn’t require a lot of space. However, the plant does call for abundant sunlight or else it can lose its form.
A familiar name, Marigold is a visually appealing and small flower that grows throughout the summer. Mostly found in yellow or orange, it provides a stunning look to any place especially when planted in a pot. It is amongst the best flower seeds for container gardening because of a natural ability to resist insects and grow in any place which has adequate space for the roots. A fully grown Marigold can range between 6 to 12 inches tall as well as wide.
Moss roses are spilling flowers to complete your arrangement. They are another variety that can grow everywhere. Moss roses require dry to medium moisture as well as well-drained soil. The plants can grow between 3 to 9 inches and 6 to 12 inches. These plants are available in a diverse range of colors which adds to the beauty of a place where the plants are put. Moss roses in particular can’t take freezing temperatures so care should be taken in accordance when planting them.
If you are a simplistic person or want to break the yellow and orange contrast, this is a white flower to add a fresh touch. Sweet Alyssum is also available in a purple color to suit your needs. These seeds germinate quickly and are ideal for indoor growth as they can bud out in partial shade too. The flowers can grow anywhere and size ranges are similar to moss roses. Sweet Alyssum requires medium moisture for effective growth.
Caring for Your Plants
Start by moistening the soil before placing it in. Add soil to a container and leave it 1 inch from the lip to provide enough room. This enables the water to stand at the top for a small time before being absorbed into the soil. After this, only water if you notice that the top of the soil is dry. You can start to witness this as the surface of the soil will start to lose its color. Regularly use worm castings or a slow-release fertilizer. This has to be used across the season but more importantly, it needs to be added when planting.
A high phosphorus fertilizer will help lots of flowers bloom. Even the best flower seeds for container gardening require consistent nourishment through fertilizers or else the plants can wilt. It is also crucial to care for the plants regularly by cleaning spent blooms that would otherwise attract pests that eventually eat out the entire plant. Deadhead is the name of the process that needs to be performed on a regular basis.
Container gardening is a task that requires some skill. Although building these capacities can take time, you don’t necessarily need to let this get in the way of you starting a fun DIY project in the garden. Equipped with the best flower seeds for container gardening, you now have enough information with which to begin.