As Avilla Homes community residents continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for fulfilling new hobbies. Container gardening fits the bill for a number of reasons: it’s fun; it’s easy to get started; it offers the opportunity to supplement (or to “spice” up) your household’s food supply; plus, gardening centers have generally been deemed “essential businesses”, so it’s likely you’ll be able to locate the supplies you need to get started.

What Can I Grow In My Container Garden?

The trick to growing plants in a container garden is to pick plants that thrive in your climate.

Some of the best plants for hot-weather container gardens include:

  • Lantana plants
  • Herbs, including rosemary, lavender, and thyme
  • Succulents
  • Bell or hot peppers

Some of the best plants for more temperate climates include:

  • Petunias
  • Trellis plants
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans

What Containers Are Best For Gardening?

Many different types of pots or planters can be used in a container garden, but each material also has its drawbacks. Clay or terracotta pots have classic appeal but break easily. Concrete pots have all-weather durability but can be too heavy to move easily. High-quality plastic and fiberglass planters are fairly durable, but can weather poorly over multiple growing seasons if they are too thin or stiff.

Wooden planters protect roots from wide temperature swings and can be easy to make. However, treating them with creosote can be toxic to your plants. Metal pots can make a modern design statement and are sturdy, but they conduct heat and cold easily and this can damage the roots of your plants.  Consider your options carefully to make the best choices for your setting.

Tips For A Successful Container Garden

  1. Look for dwarf or compact seed varieties. These seeds are designed to grow in compact spaces, including small pots.
  2. Use high-quality potting soil. Potting soil provides your seeds with a healthy foundation and also helps your plants drain water more efficiently.
  3. Check the amount of sunlight your plants will receive. Be aware that your window, back patio, or other gardening space might receive more sun or shade than you think.
  4. Be prepared to shelter your container garden from extreme temperatures. You may need to plan for sheltering containers in the middle of the day to avoid overheating the plants, or for sheltering them overnight from cold.
  5. Daily watering is a must for your garden. An easy way to check is to stick a finger a couple inches into a container; if the soil is dry, it’s time to water. Tip: don’t water in the heat of the day. Water in the early mornings or late evenings.

There are a multitude of websites that can help you start your container garden. We wish you luck and look forward to seeing the creativity of our residents in this area. Stay home, stay safe, and let us know if you have needs Avilla Homes can help with!