Tips for Starting a Container Garden

Have you been thinking about starting a garden but don’t have a lot of space to work with? Or maybe you live in an urban area and don’t have a yard. Or maybe you’re like me and you have poor soil quality AND you’re deathly afraid of the bugs and worms that are found in traditional gardening.  LOL! If you follow my container garden tips for beginners you will be eating fresh veggies within a few weeks to months.

The Farmer’s Almanac is one of the best places to start when you’re considering anything that has to do with gardening projects. They have articles on every topic you could imagine, from when to plant and what to plant based on your location and much more. I did a bit of research before starting my first outdoor garden back in 2015. I did a few posts here on my blog where I shared my progress and experience. I’ve done vegetable gardening every spring and summer since then. I find gardening to be therapeutic.

This summer I decided to try my hand at container gardening. I did my research and also took a class at my local garden center to get a fresh perspective on what I should be doing to be successful this first time. I learned a few things and applied them to my first container. I’m happy to say that it’s flourishing. Therefore I wanted to share my tips with you so that you can start a garden of your own.

For container gardening you will need the following items:

  1. A container that is large enough and deep enough to hold your plants. It should have a hole in the bottom for proper drainage.
  2. Expanded Shale to maintain moisture.
  3. Premium potting soil that is high quality for container gardens.
  4. Garden gloves
  5. Seedlings of the vegetables and/or flowers you plan to grow. This helps to speed up the process rather than growing from seeds. I have patience, but not that much. Haha! You can purchase seedlings at your local gardening shop.
  6. Plant food or fertilizer. I usually use a liquid plant food formulated for growing vegetables.
  7. A water source – watering can, hose, etc.
container garden potting soil

Expanded shale and Premium Potting Soil are necessary for a successful container garden.

container garden tips for beginners

These were my original supplies that I started with for my container gardens this year.

This is how to get started:

  1. Fill my container with about 2 inches of the expanded shale in the bottom. This helps the plants to retain moisture from waterings.
  2. I then fill my container with the Potting Soil.
  3. I take the seedlings out of their original containers and transplant to my large container. You should choose plants that have the same sunlight and water requirements to put together. You can mix vegetables, herbs and flowers in the same pot.
  4. Place your plants where they can get about 6 hours of sun per day.
  5. Be sure to water at least 2-3 times weekly and fertilize about every 14 days.

easy container garden for beginners

My tomato plants are thriving. I have the Sweet 100’s variety and should be adding these small sweet cherry size tomatoes to my salads in a few short weeks.

Remember that if you’re just starting out with gardening there will be some successes and some failures. You have to learn through experience. What grows well for some people will not grow well for others. Below are some of my recommendations for beginners. You can also ask the staff at your local nursery what they recommend based on your geographic area.

Vegetables: tomatoes (patio, sweet 100’s, and roma), bell peppers, onions, beans and peas.

Flowers: roses, sunflowers, dahlias, and petunias.

I hope you liked my container garden tips for beginners. Let me know if you start a container garden of your own. I’d love to see pictures too!! Email to


  1. May 1, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    This is so helpful for beginners! I have a container garden every year and last year I was so mad that our local deer ate all of my tomatoes. I had about 38 indigo rose tomatoes on the vine and the deer ate every single dang one of them! This year I’m doing carrots, onions, and jalapenos along with fresh herbs and few flowers.
    Ashley recently posted…Cherish: MayMy Profile

    • Stacie
      May 1, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      Oh no! I would have been so upset by the deer!! I’ve had bunnies take bites out my tomatoes and peppers and the past. Then one day I saw my dog steal a cherry tomato too. I could have killed her!! Your garden this year sounds lovely! I’m deciding what to add to mine soon. Stacie xo
      Stacie recently posted…Tips for Starting a Container GardenMy Profile

  2. May 28, 2018 / 3:55 am

    Hello Stacie, thank you so much for sharing these helpful tips for gardening. I will definitely try them and going to start container gardening.Keep posting.

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