Container gardens are one of the top outdoor trends for new homes in San Antonio today, which is great news for those who have a smaller yard and still want their outdoor space to look colorful. But if you’ve never created a container garden, you may not know where to start. These tips from The Spruce will help you create a container garden you can be proud of in your new home on the Southside.
Don't Skimp on Drainage
“While this may sound like an odd first tip, it can be a matter of life and death for your plants, they said. “When there isn't a big enough hole or holes for water to get out of your pot, your soil becomes too wet and the roots of your plants can rot which causes the plant to die.”
This often means making adjustments to the pots you purchase, which may not have enough drainage as is. “You can often increase drainage, by drilling, punching or carving bigger holes. However, sometimes it's just easier to buy a pot that does have enough drainage. I would say that the minimum size for a drainage hole is 1/2 inch in diameter for small or medium sized pots. For larger sized containers, look for at least an inch in diameter.”
Evaluate Your Light
Is the area where you’re planning your container garden in full sunlight? Partial shade? “While you can find a great plant for almost any amount of light, you have to know how much light your container will get before you choose your plants,” they said. “To figure out how much direct light your container will get, place it where you want it and then time how long the sun hits it. You can also use a sun calculator to determine your sunlight.”
Feed Your Plants
A common mistake people make when potting plants for a container garden in their new home in San Antonio is thinking that all they need is soil. But, “Most potting soil has no accessible nutrients for your plants,” they said. “You need to add those. To do this, I either mix up a big batch of potting soil mixed with fertilizer in a bucket, or I fill my pot with potting soil and then mix in the fertilizer. I use an organic potting soil and an organic fertilizer. I then fertilizer every week or two with a liquid fertilizer.”
Make a List Before You Go to Buy Plants
You may not know what you want, but you probably have some idea what you like. Making a list or even bringing pictures in to the nursery can help you zero in on the plants for your container garden and avoid “plant panic” that paralyzes you in the perennial aisle. “I suggest a list at least with the number of pots, the sizes and where they are going—so you can get plants that fit the pots and know if you need plants for sun or shade or anything in between,” she said.
If possible, it is a great idea to bring either your pot, or a picture of your pot with you. Smart phones are great for this. Most nurseries will have someone there who can help you out with your choices. Also, in most nurseries, the plants are organized and labeled for how much sun they require.
Plant Good Neighbors
Certain plants may look nice together, but do they make good neighbors? “When you are choosing plants for your container make sure that they will play well together,” they said. “This means that all the plants in one pot should all require the same amount light and moisture. If you combine plants with different needs, some of them will not thrive. So, for example, if you have a plant that requires full sun, you want all the plants you choose for that pot to also require full sun. If you have a plant that likes to dry out between waterings, you don't want to put it in a pot with plants that like it dry.
Read and Save the Plant Tag
Depending on how much research you’ve done in advance and how much help you have when picking out plants, you may never even look at any of the tags while you’re in the store. But you’ll want to consult them later on to make sure you’re caring for them properly. “Plant tags are critical. They will tell you how big your plant will get, how much light, water and food it needs and how much care it will need,” they said.
The More Potting Soil the Better
Don’t skimp on the good stuff. “There are lots of people out there who will tell you to fill up your containers with all manner of junk—from packing peanuts to milk jugs,” they said. “While doing this will make your container garden significantly lighter, it will also make it harder to maintain because it will dry out faster. The more potting soil you use, the more water retention you will have which will give you a much great margin for error when it comes to both watering and feeding your plants.”
Ready to find the perfect new home in San Antonio where you can create the container garden you’ve been dreaming of? Visit Mission del Lago, one of the top San Antonio masterplanned communities located in the city’s hottest area. This great new-home community offers single-family new homes on the Southside with spacious, modern floorplans from renowned national homebuilders Lennar and D.R. Horton filled with all the most wanted features, abundant on-site amenities, and a convenient location just minutes from downtown, the Toyota plant, and Brooks City Base.
You can also click below to view all move-in ready homes.