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4 Container Gardening Problems and Easy Ways to Fix Them

It’s a little past the spring planting period and we’re all made our first steps to this year’s planting season. If you’ve decided to use containers in your organic garden, you did the right choice. Container gardening has lots of pros:

– you don’t need to have particular gardening skills to do it;

– it’s very manageable — taking care of plants is easier and you don’t need much space. Pests and diseases are harder to get in containers, and much easier to dealt with;

– almost every type of plant can live in a container.

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Container gardening is easy, but you still should be careful

Although it’s a fool-proof way to start with, container planting has its room for errors. I’ve, myself, stumbled upon a problem or two while trying to grow potatoes. I nearly drowned them because the water couldn’t drain through the container holes. You see, there was only three of them — really, really small ones. Then I’ve tried to make some more holes and ended up breaking the container. So, yeah. I’m sure you couldn’t do worse than me.

We are all human beings, we all make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world, but there is some damage control you probably need to do. Below you’ll find some container growing problems and best ways to fix them… Or avoid them in the first place.

1. Watering mistakes

Drill a lot holes if you son’t want to have problems with watering

If your plants are wilting and turning yellow, it means you have a drainage problem. Here’s the deal — containers are tricky. They will let the soil dry out faster than anything else. And if you even dare to over-water your plants, be sure they will die from lack of oxygen. Your container must have enough holes, so the water could drain properly. When you’re watering your plants be constant about it, don’t stress them out. Also, be sure that water is coming through the holes of the container, only then the soil is well soaked. Talking about soil, make sure you’re using light compost mix with no water retaining crystals in it. This is a simple way to prevent over-watering.

2. Problems with sunlight

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If your plants are thin and unproductive enough, it’s most likely they don’t receive enough sunlight. Leafy crops, such as parsley, cabbage and lettuce can manage with more shade. On the other hand, tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant needs as much sunlight as possible. Having your plants in containers makes it easier to fix this problem. You have to re-locate the container to more sunnier spot.

3. Don’t forget to fertilize often

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Organic or not, fertilizer is a must in container gardening

It’s best if you use organic fertilizer with every other watering. Other options are water-soluble or time-release fertilizer. Containers tend to run out of nutrition faster than other forms of planting. You have fertilizing issues when your plants have poor coloring, the leaves are having spots or dry areas.

4. Tackling pests and diseases

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Big fat caterpillars will munch your plants if you’re not careful

Yes, they can actually occur at some point, you can never be sure. So, be extremely careful and check your plants regularly for these container gardening problems. And act as quickly as possible, if you find something. Move the contaminated container away from the others, so no pests and diseases could spread around freely. Clean it from bugs and damaged leaves, and use insecticide or fungicide, depending on the case. If you’re not sure you’ve dealt with the problem, contact gardening specialists, so they can help you.

Overall, there are few main things that you should do to guarantee health and prosperity while growing plants in containers. It’s to check on your containers daily, water your plants often and deal faster with occurring problems. For more details, make sure you check out this useful resource.

Written by

Graduate Media and Comunications at Coventry University

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