How to Plant a Patio Container Garden

Spruce up a patio or small garden area with gorgeous, easy-to-maintain container gardens.

Pots and Crops Create Productive Patio

Pots and Crops Create Productive Patio

A patio can be quite productive with a range of crops in pots and containers filled with blooming flowers. Hanging baskets and raised beds can also be mixed in for variety and visual interest.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

  • plants of choice
  • terra cotta pots
  • broken pieces of clay pots or pieces of Styrofoam
  • watering can or garden hose
  • compost
  • granular fertilizer

Step 1: Soak Pots

Soak Terra Cotta Pots with Water Before Planting

Soak Terra Cotta Pots with Water Before Planting

If using terra cotta pots, remember that clay is porous and water is lost from the sides of the container. Plants in clay pots should be monitored closely for loss of moisture. Soak them thoroughly with water before filling.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Patio containers are easy to plant, but it’s worth spending a few minutes preparing pots before you start. Choose a pot that will accommodate the plants easily and will allow room for growth. If you are using terra cotta pots, prepare them for planting by first giving the insides a good soaking using a watering can or hose.

Step 2: Cover Drainage Hole

Cover Drainage Hole with Broken Pieces of Pottery

Cover Drainage Hole with Broken Pieces of Pottery

Make sure the pot has adequate drainage. Holes should be a half inch across. Line the base of the pot with broken pieces of pottery or pieces of styrofoam to prevent soil from clogging up the holes.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

If the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom, cover the base with pieces of broken clay pots or bits of Styrofoam to prevent soil from clogging up the hole.

Step 3: Fill Pot

Fill Pot with Compost and Add Granular Fertilizer

Fill Pot with Compost and Add Granular Fertilizer

Add soil to the container, leave a 2 inch space between the top of the soil and the top of the container to allow for watering. Use a potting soil that has an added granular fertilizer or add one to regular soil, so that plants will be regularly fed.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fill the pot with compost, leaving a gap at the top to allow for watering. Mix a granular fertilizer into the soil according to the instructions on the packet.

Step 4: Firm Down Soil

Firm Down Soil Around Roots of Plants

Firm Down Soil Around Roots of Plants

Add plants to container, leaving enough space between them to allow for growth. Firm soil around roots and water thoroughly.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Position plants in the pot, leaving enough space between them to allow for growth. Gently firm down the soil around the roots, and water in well.