Container gardening supplies you’ll need is a fairly short and simple list. There are just four essentials — plants (or seeds or bulbs), soil, something to put them in, and plant food. And also air, sunshine and water, but you’ve already got those.
You might want a few tools (not absolutely required but nice to have) and (like any hobby) there are lots of fun-to-have extras.
Container gardening supplies – Soil
You could just use soil from a larger garden or field (available and free) but don’t. It will have weed roots and seeds and probably other contaminants, too (such as the eggs of flies or bugs). Also, soil from the ground isn’t the high-quality soil or soil-less mix that plants in containers require to thrive.
At the garden centre or gardening section of grocery and big box stores you’ll find general container garden soil, soil-less mix, and specialty soils formulated for orchids, cacti, African violets and possibly other mixes. You will also see bags of things to add to soil – peat, sand, and vermiculite as well as compost, manure, mulch, worm castings…and the list of things you could buy for your plants to live in goes on.
Fertilizer is Plant Food
Fertilizer is the same as plant food.
Yes, there is plant food in the soil, but not enough. You will have to feed your garden, and what you feed, how much and how often depends on a lot of variables:
- Individual plant needs and preferences
- Amount of sun or shade, or amount of sun that reaches indoor plants
- Your garden zone and local climate
- Your garden’s exposure
- Container size
- Your own preferences – do you want the ritzy stuff or the budget-saver option?
Sounds daunting? It isn’t, really.
Container gardening supplies – Plants
You can start plants in lots of ways – from seeds, cuttings (from mature plants), bulbs or tubers, very young plants (called plugs), plant divisions (of certain plants such as iris or daylilies) or transplanting mature plants.
- The cheapest way? Start from seed.
- The easiest way? Start from well-established plants or plant divisions.
Pots for plants
Here the options are just about endless.
You can buy containers (and, for indoor plants, saucers) that are made of plastic, metal, wood, clay, stone, concrete, glass and a combination of these materials.
Or you could recycle household objects, found objects, even junk into containers. Or make your own. All a container really needs is the ability to hold soil and water and drainage holes at the bottom.
Container gardening supplies – Gardening tools
You won’t need many. A claw for breaking up the soil is useful if you have raised beds (or leave containers on the balcony or outside between growing seasons), gloves to protect your hands (hand moisturizer is also a good idea).
You may also need brackets, chain or hooks (to hang pots or baskets), trellis (for vines), and other building supplies, depending on the space you have to work with, the plants you choose and the kind of garden you want.
Containers are less prone to pest attack than in-ground gardens. But you are still likely to have to do battle something or other – flies, bugs, cats, rabbits or deer that munch your plants or the illnesses some plants can be struck by.
You can spend less and still have a container garden to be proud of.