I know it can be a struggle when trying to start container gardening. I had the same problem of figuring out where I should start the container garden.
The best location for container gardening is where you can provide the plants with the required space, sunlight, moisture, and nutrients. This could be indoors or outdoors, a large backyard, a small patio, an apartment balcony, or a room. It depends on the space you can make the best out of.
Don’t worry; I’ll help you figure out what space you have and how you can make it the best location for your container garden.
1. Find out where you can grow your container plants
The first thing I would suggest is to look around your house for potential locations to grow plants. These could be any location indoors or outdoors.
Examples of such locations are the backyard, patio, driveway, balcony apartment, windowsill, apartment room, and rooftop.
Plants need growing space and sunlight
The most important things for growing container plants are space and sunlight. The type of plants you can grow in containers will depend on these factors.
You need to have sufficient space between the plants so they don’t crowd each other and block sunlight. If the plants are too close, they will create a humid environment that attracts pests and diseases.
Finding a spot that gets direct sunlight would be an ideal location to grow plants. Direct sunlight means the light will fall on the plant leaves.
Indirect sunlight means the light will bounce off the walls and reach the plant leaves. Shade means that the location does not get any good amount of sunlight.
To find the best location for a container garden, you’ll need to take into consideration four important factors: sunlight, shelter from strong winds, exposure to cold air, and intense heat. A good location to start with for container gardening is on higher ground such as a patio so your plants are not covered in snow all winter long! This will also protect them from high temps since you can control what position they are in based on the daily sun exposure. – Noah James, Expert Landscaping Business Owner, Liberty Lawn Maintenance
I think you should pick a spot that gets at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to grow most plants. This is especially important if you want to grow edibles like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, or cucumbers.
But don’t feel stressed if you don’t have a space that gets much sunlight. You can grow still grow container plants. You just need to adapt to the environment you have for growing them.
I’m unlucky where I don’t have such a spot in my house. I do have a spot that gets indirect sunlight the whole day. This means I won’t be successful growing fruiting vegetables but I can grow some leafy vegetables and herbs in such a location.
If you have to grow plants in the shade most of the time, you can’t grow edibles except a few medicinal plants. But you can grow shade-loving plants especially many houseplants that grow well in such an environment.
2. Check the amount of space you have for the plants
Now you have picked a location in or around your house that gets good sunlight. Now you can check how much space this location has.
Finding this out will help you understand how many plants you’ll be able to grow. It’ll help you plan how to make the best use of the space to grow the number of plants you want.
You can use a measuring tape to measure the length, width, and height of the location. If you have an outdoor space like a yard, patio, or driveway, just the length and width will give a good idea.
If you want to grow container plants in the apartment balcony, indoors, or a windowsill, it’s good to know the length, width, and height. Measuring the height will help you understand how you can use the space to grow plants vertically.
You can note these dimensions in a notebook or a note-taking app on your mobile phone. Each plant will need a minimum area to grow well. So this calculation will help understand that.
3. Understand the type of plants you can grow
Once you have picked the location and figured out how much space you have for the plants, you need to decide what plants to grow.
This will be a compromise on your wishlist of plants and the light and space you have available. For example, you may wish to grow a tomato plant, but you can’t grow if the location does not get direct sunlight.
Or you may wish to grow a cucumber vine but if the location does not have the required space you won’t be able to grow that.
So choose wisely the plants you will grow in your container garden so you get the maximum success rate growing them.
If you have direct sunlight for 6-8 hours in the location you can grow any sun-loving plant. If you have indirect sunlight you can grow shade-loving plants as well as some herbs and leafy greens.
If you have a location that is completely in the shade, you can grow some medicinal plants and houseplants that need very little sunlight.
Just because a plant will grow near your home doesn’t mean it can thrive in your backyard! Take into account the quality of the natural light available at different times of year on every side of your house which will help you determine the most ideal location for your container garden. You may even want to experiment with growing some herbs indoors during the winter months to get some experience.- Noah James, Expert Landscaping Business Owner, Liberty Lawn Maintenance
If you have plenty of space for your container garden you can grow almost any plant in it. This space could be a backyard, patio, driveway, or rooftop with a good area for the plants.
You can even grow climbers such as cucumbers, squash, and melons in this space by using a large hanging trellis. Small trees such as bananas and citrus can also be grown in containers in this space.
If you have limited space such as an apartment balcony, room, or windowsills, you can only grow a limited number of plants. You may be able to increase the number of plants by growing them vertically.
You can use hanging planters to use the vertical space. You could also grow climber plants by using a trellis or stake.
4. Don’t be afraid to change locations if required
You have selected your location and determined the types of plants you can grow in it. You started growing the plants but after a few months you see that the plants are not growing as you expected.
There can be many reasons why this may happen but you may find out that the location is causing the problem. Maybe the sunlight or space is not as what the plants required.
You need to consider moving to another location that may be more suitable for growing the plants you want. If you don’t have any such location you may consider growing a different set of plants more suitable to the current location.
If you have another suitable location for the plants you can move the containers there. That’s one of the benefits of container gardening.
If you don’t have another suitable location, you can also try to use community space if that is allowed. You could use the space in your community garden. Or you can use the rooftop if the building has one.
You could even use guerrilla gardening where you place the plants in public locations while remaining anonymous. You need to ensure that the place is suitable for growing the plants and won’t impact pedestrians or traffic.
It’s important to pick the right location for your container garden as that will determine the health and success of your plants. You can find a lot more details about the basics of container gardening below,
Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.
Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.
Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.
Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.
Trowel – Garden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers
Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.
To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.
Kevin is the founder of Gardening Mentor, a website that aims to teach people to grow their own food in a limited space. As a self-taught gardener, Kevin has spent several years growing plants and creating gardening content on the website. He is certified in Home Horticulture and Organic Gardening by expert gardeners from Oregon State University.