container gardening 101: container prep

  • by Your Friends at Veradek
Container Gardening 101

container gardening 101:
container prep

Now that you have the plants and the containers, it's finally time to start the process of prepping your containers for planting! Here are some important tips to remember as you prepare your plant babies' new home.

Set it up before you fill it up
It is very important to place your container in its final location BEFORE you fill it with soil! There's nothing like spending an hour perfectly preparing your container only to discover you can no longer move it to where it needs to be.

Choose your placement wisely
If retaining soil moisture is important for your plants, consider placing your container in a spot where it will receive sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon. The afternoon shade will lessen the amount of moisture and watering that a plant needs.

Think about drainage
To prevent soil from washing out through your container's drainage holes, use a thin wire mesh, cuttings of coffee filters, or our go-to, burlap cutouts, and place them over the holes before filling with soil.

Prep your soil
In larger containers (larger than 4.5 L/1 gal), regular gardening/potting soil is too dense and adds extra weight to your container. You can remedy this by using a soil mixture that incorporates lots of coarse material such as peat moss and/or perlite, which will help maintain the proper water-to-air ratio and promote water drainage.

Moisten the soil
Before adding plants to your container, make sure that the soil is pre-moistened to prevent the soil shifting unexpectedly after planting. You can now continue to add plants, populating them densely and covering their root balls at the same depth as they came from the nursery. Be sure not to fill the soil to the top of the planter as it will need some extra space for proper watering. Water your plants generously to help them and the soil set in your new garden container.


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  • I also don’t understand how the water is stored for the plant or how it gets there. Do I just water the plant until water comes out the bottom? This will keep the plant watered for a week maybe more???

    Linda Douglas on
  • I just purchased the brixton series outdoor planter 20" Cube. I like the quality and appearance – it is a well built planter. However I don’t understand the insert which I understand is a self watering feature with no fill tube to fill water in the bottom and to observe when it is full. I guess when the drainage hole starts to emit water then it is full but how do I add water to fill it? Do I just soak completely from the top until the darinage hole emits water? Please explain. Thanks.

    Neil on

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