Container Growing Tips

You can grow anything in a container … if the container is big enough, that is!

Plants can grow only as big as their container allows, and the bigger the plant, the more the potential harvest, whether that be zinnias or tomatoes. Also, big containers require less frequent watering and insulate the plant’s roots against temperature changes. How big is big enough? Here are some general ideas on container size:

  • Root crops (carrots, radishes, potatoes) need 12 to 18 inches.
  • Tomatoes and Squash need the space of a 5-gallon bucket or larger]
  • Peppers need 3-to-4-gallon pots
  • Lettuce roots are shallow and grow in just 6 inches of soil

As for ornamentals:

  • Perennials and grasses have big root systems and will need more space
  • Most seasonal annuals will do fine in a pot at least 12″ deep.

4 Best Tips

  1. Make sure your containers have drainage holes in the bottom.
  2. Unglazed clay pots and dark colored pots will dry out more quickly than glazed and light-colored pots. They will also be warmer – something to keep in mind if you are planting cool season annuals.
  3. Choose a quality potting mix. Add slow-release fertilizer or plan on using a liquid fertilizer during the season.
  4. Place your container in an area with proper sunlight, water, and enjoy! Consider locations with part sun exposure.

Quality Potting Soil – Mix together your potting soil of choice and a bag of your favorite compost in a wheelbarrow. Extra points if the compost is from your own compost bin!

Proper Sunlight – Full sun is 6 to 8 hours. Part sun is 4 to 6 hours. These are the National Horticultural Society standards. They’ve never been to Texas. During our long summer days, many yards are in full sun for 12 to 14 hours.

Be inspired! There are many options for creative container gardening.