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Four P’s of Container Gardening

April 12, 2019

Containers are always a popular garden addition. They can be put anywhere, even if all the space you have is a concrete balcony! You aren’t limited to planting only flowers in your containers – you can fill them with edible plants! Popular fruits to plant in containers are berries, lemons, oranges, and dwarf peach and apple trees. Lemons, oranges, and other citrus trees actually have to be potted in containers in our area. They are too tender here to survive in the ground – in a container, you can bring them inside during the winter. Popular vegetables to plant in containers are tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, and cucumbers.

As you plant, just remember the four “P’s” for container gardening success!


First, make sure you are picking a container that is appropriate for your selected plant. You want it to be big enough for your plant to have room as it matures. Ask us experts for a recommendation! For vining plants, you may also want to include some sort of structure on which you can train your plants.

Fill your container with a well-draining soil mix. You will have to water plants in containers more than ones in the ground because they will dry out quicker, but you don’t want them to be sitting in water. That could cause them to rot. Place your container in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.


Keep an eye on your plants – harvest the fruits of your labor before the birds and deer get to them! To give yourself a bit of wiggle room, cover your plants with netting or bring them onto a sunny, covered patio.


As stems become damaged, old, or die, remove them. Do a heavy pruning in late winter to early spring. You can cut out a third of the bush!


When frost comes, make sure your plants are prepared. Move them to a garage or other sheltered spot. If your container is not frost-proof, you will need to bring it inside a heated area. You can also cover your plants with frost cloth. When the threat of frost has passed in the spring, bring your plants back outside.

You may not have room for a full orchard, but you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the season with your container garden! Need help finding the perfect container? Visit our team at Martin’s Home & Garden for some expert advice!

This blog post was also published as an article in The Murfreesboro Post on April 2, 2019.



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