10 best tips for perfect container gardening

Planter boxes work well for plants that need proper elevation and drainage. They also give you the opportunity to group plants together that enjoy the same type of soil or will complement each other as they grow. Plus, this is an effective option if you don't have a lot of space to garden because you can build up.
Although you might assume planter box planting is pretty much the same as planting in a traditional garden, some major differences exist that can make or break your garden. Here are some important tips to keep in mind before you start and to help you maintain the healthiest garden possible.
1. The bigger the better
Plants need room to grow, so as The Old Farmers Almanac explains, the bigger the better. Bigger planter boxes mean plants won't be cramped and can grow much bigger. It's well worth the investment.
2. Get creative
Use an old tub, cut a big tin drum in half, boxes, troughs – anything you can get your hands on. Containers don't have to be wooden boxes.
3. Add gravel
Make sure you add about 1 inch of coarse gravel or rocks in the bottom of the containers to help with drainage.
4. Fertilize often
You need to keep soil fertilized so plants can grow to their full potential. Add liquid fertilizer at least twice a month to keep everything on track.
5. Water, water, water!
A container garden is awesome because it drains well. Better Homes & Gardens, however, says this means you need to stay on top of hydration. You need to water your plants every time the soil feels dry – sometimes twice a day. For this reason, it might be a good idea to dig an irrigation system or get a sprinkler timer.
6. Clean out often
Stay on top of the plant's cycles. Clip the old heads and stems off of plants after they have peaked to encourage new growth. This is called "deadheading" and it's going to make a container garden look a whole lot fresher.
7. Find the right sunny spot
You can't just put all the plants in the same container garden because some plants need more light than others. Create a few different planter boxes so you can group plants together – such as the ones who need lots of light and the ones who thrive in some shade.
8. Plant partner plants
Some plants just don't get along. One plant might need acidic soil, another might attract a type of fungus that kills the one next to it. Do research on the proper plants to plant next to one another to ensure the health of your garden.
9. Never use soil from your own garden
This might sound crazy, but you need to use a different soil because you essentially have created a new environment. The Old Farmers Almanac explains that soil from the garden is just too heavy, can become easily waterlogged and can even bring unwanted bugs and diseases with it. Instead, opt for a soilless mix good for draining.
10. Use this trick to keep weeds away
Use different types of plants to layer the garden. For example, plant root crops, low-growers and tall climbers together in the same container (make sure they get along, first). The climbing plants will grow up a trellis, the small plants will spread across the base and the root plants will dig deep. In doing so, the weeds really won't have anywhere to go. It may even eliminates them altogether.
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