Theresa asked if I had any advice or posts on container gardening. While I had no specific post, I have lots of advice.
I've been container gardening for at least 30 years. For 12 years I lived in a series of rented apartments, houses, townhouses. Most of my gardening during that time was in containers. I've grown it all- roses, daylilies, annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs and vegetables. I still do a lot of planting in pots, as accents around the pool and around the yard.
You can go grow anything in containers, but it does take some work and knowledge to grow things well.
Container Size: The bigger the better. I would recommend a minimum of 12" in diameter. Make sure that they have ample drainage holes. You may have to add more.
Spacing: Don't over crowd. I've seen recommendations for 1.5 plants for each inch of pot diameter. This is much too crowded. For my 14" pool pots I usually plant five or six plants. They will fill out fast!
Soil: Avoid the mixes with moisture control additives, in my climate they retain too much moisture and the plants don't grow well till the end of the season when they are extremely root bound. For permanent plants I mix my own soil. This would be a peat based mix, very finely ground bark mulch, perlite and a small amount of compost. For annual and vegetables I use a good quality peat based mix. I do not use any thing special for drainage, as long as there are enough drain holes I have no problems.
Water: I soak mine good upon planting, until a good stream of water exits the bottom. I keep them just moist until the plants show a good growth spurt and then water on my regular schedule. In summer as the heat increases and the pots fill roots I may have to water in the morning and the evening. If the soil is dry a half inch down it's time to water.
Fertilizing: If you are using a mix that has fertilizer added DO NOT feed for at least a month. After this time I start to add a quarter strength liquid fertilizer every two weeks. After 60 days I up it half strength. For mixes with no added fertilizer, follow the directions on a good liquid fertilizer.
Spacing of Pots: Give them enough room to breathe and fill out.
Caveats: Watch the height of the plants. If the pot is too small and the plant too tall, they will blow over in every strong wind.
Special Note for Vegetables: I have tried mixed pots and pots of single species. The pots of a single type always do better. If the pot is large enough you can use large cages, teepee's, poles whatever you can dream up.
Here are some results:
|Vegetables on the pad 6/28/2008|
|Vegetables on the pad 1 week later 07/03/2008|
|Rose Brass Band 06/02/2006|
|Rose Artistry 06/24/2006|
|Zinnias in 14" pot 07/30/2010|
|Daylily Border Sentry 06/23/2010. this has been in the same 18" pot for over 10 years! It has never been repotted.|
I could go on and on with examples.
This is just scratching the surface with basic information. If there are any specific questions, just ask.