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.
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.
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.
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 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.