Bedner's Farm & Greenhouse

Container Garden Tips


Container gardening is a great way to add color or interest to areas like a deck, porch, patio or your front door. There are many way to go about planting your container garden, but there are a few general tips you can use to help make it beautiful and professional-looking.

container-types1. Select a container. There are a variety of shapes, sizes and colors for containers. Some are large and meant to sit on the ground, others are smaller and better suited for table tops. Then there are containers meant to hang over deck rails and or window boxes. You may also choose to go a non-traditional route when selecting your container, like using an old vintage crate or milk can. Regardless of what container you decide to use, just make sure that it has drainage holes on the bottom.


2. Choose a potting mix. At Bedner’s we recommend ProMix. It is a very good mix with beneficial fungus, 9 months of fertilizer and water crystals to help contain water.

3. Determine your sun exposure. Once you decide where your container will be placed, it is important to determine what kind of sunlight the container will receive so that you can select appropriate plants that will thrive in that type of sun condition. A spot with morning sun only would be a part-sun plant and 5-6 hours of afternoon sun would be a full sun plant. Plants with no direct sun would be shade plants.ย  If you ever have questions about what plants would be best suited for different sunlight situations, a Bedners gardening employee can assist you.


4. Select your plants. Thriller, fillers and spillers are often a general rule of thumb used in selecting plants for a container. Thrillers are plants that add height to a container like grasses. Fillers are plants that will spread horizontally across the container and help fill in any empty spaces in the pot. These are often flowering plants like geraniums. Spillers are plants that will creep or vine down the outside of your container like sweet potato vines or creeping jenny.

Another way to create a beautiful container is to mix textures. Choosing plants with varying colors and textures like waxy leaves, pointy, leaves, velvety leaves, broad leaves, tiny leaves, etc. can help add visual interest to your container.

Adding perennials and herbs can also be used in containers. Once you’re done with your container in the late summer, you can plant the perennials in your yard. Herbs in containers can be used in cooking, add fragrance to an outdoor space, or aid in repelling pests like bugs or deer.


5. Water your plants. Watering is an essential part of ensuring a container garden’s success. Containers often dry out quicker than the soil in your yard. This is why it is important to select a quality potting mix that can help hold moisture in the soil longer. As a general rule of thumb, if the first couple inches of soil in your container are dry, it is time to water again. Your container will likely need more water during periods of extreme sun and heat. Always make sure you water your container in the early morning or late evening when sun exposure is limited. This will help maximize the amount of water your plants can absorb.

Watch our Container Gadening Tips video below.