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Vegetable & Flower Container Gardening Ideas

by Russell van Kraayenburg

For anybody new to gardening, or anybody tight on space, container gardening is the perfect place to start, and a great opportunity to keep your favorite flowers, herbs, and even fruits and vegetables around year-round.

Small space gardening
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Before you start planting you must take care of two important aspects of gardening: soil and drainage.


Your plants like to eat healthy, and that means a healthy soil. For potted plants, a mixture of one-third common soil, plus one-third compost, and one-third peat moss creates a light and airy, nutrient-filled soil. This is also the perfect time to add fertilizer to your soil. Making your own fertilizer is easy—simply add small amounts of blood meal, bone meal, fish meal, and even wood ash. The 10 Gallon Kangaroo®Bag is a perfect container in which to mix your soil.

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There are a few things you will want to do before adding your soil to your container to make sure it stays light and airy. First, make sure the pot or container has a hole drilled in the bottom and that this is not obstructed. Second, add a layer of large rocks, then a layer of smaller rocks and pebbles (totaling up to a quarter of the space in the planter.) This will ensure the water will have a place to drain, keeping the soil and your plant from becoming water logged. With this simple drainage system in place, you can add the soil to the container, careful not to fill it to the top—you need space for the plant after all! Using the Big Grip Trowel will make transferring and mixing soil a cinch.

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Now, it's time to plant! When removing plants from the garden-store container, you want to make sure the root ball is loosened, to ensure quick growth. You can use your hands to loosen the soil and roots slightly, or you can use a fine shear like Fiskars Softouch®MicroTip®Snips. Simply cut some of the roots toward the ends to loosen them from the compact soil ball.

Then you'll want to create a hole, a little larger than the root ball, in the soil with your trowel in the soil. Place the plant in the center and fill in with excess soil. Be sure that the top of he root ball is not covered with soil, and remove any dead leaves or other objects that may be sitting in top.

Now is a good time to prune the plant. Using the Herb and Veggie Shears or PowerGear2™ Pruner, remove any dead or damaged stems or branches.

Not that you've successfully planted a container, all you have to do is maintains the plant's health with regular watering and pruning.

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Looking for ideas on what to plant? Herbs like thyme and rosemary are hearty and grow year round in many climates. Mint also grows very well but avoid planting it with others as it will take over the container. Citrus bushes, berry bushes, and even tomato plants and greens all make wonderful container plants as well.