Good Dirt’s Guide to Container Gardening

Looking for a new way to spruce up your outdoor living space this fall? We recommend giving container gardening a go! Container gardens are a great way to let your creativity run wild and is a perfect option for both new and seasoned gardeners alike. Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you kick start your new project.

What is a container garden?

A container garden is planted outside in a container versus in the ground. They are perfect if you are testing out your green thumb for the first time, for those living in urban areas (we love balcony gardens), gardening with kids, or simply sprucing up your outdoor areas for those autumn nights and weekends spent outside. These containers are often simple flowerpots, but they can be anything – let your imagination run wild! Container gardens can thrive in environments from bathtubs to boots and can be funky, modern, traditional – whatever fits your vibe.

How to create your own outdoor container garden:

1. Fill your pot with Good Dirt Outdoor Potting Mix. 

Fluff and loosen the soil with your hands to get it ready for planting. Roots love this!

2. Go plant shopping. 

This is the fun part. Take a trip to your favorite local nursery or greenhouse and pick out plants that make you light up! Consider: Leaf Size (Big and broad? Cute and compact?  Long and thin?) Does it have flowers? (Do you want it to?) Texture? (How does it feel in your fingers? How does it look to the eye?) Color? (Is it bright? Muted? Soft? Loud?) Do you like it?! (This is the most important.) 

There is no wrong or right way to put a planter together. Here are some tips to help you succeed, even if it’s your first time:  

  • Choose a Focal Plant- Make it something special to you. Maybe it’s extra tall, extra bushy, or extra colorful! 
  • Pick out mid-sized plants- These are to help fill in around your Focal Plant.
  • Look for plants labeled ‘trailing’ or ‘vining’ to spill over the edge- Plant these last on the outer edge of your container. 
  • Let nature inspire you. – Think of common patterns or plant combinations you see around you outside.  Feel free to add in annuals, perennials, succulents, herbs, even house plants – whatever fits your vision.
  • And remember – you don’t need to have something flowering. You can create a beautiful container using just foliage and different textures. Take a look at the containers below for more inspiration.

3. Start Arranging. 

Here’s a pro tip: leave the plants in their pots while you create your arrangement. Play around until it’s perfect, mess-free. Plant when you are ready and don’t forget to top off your container with additional potting mix to ensure that all those roots are sufficiently covered. 

4. Feed and Water. 

Sprinkle Good Dirt PlantBiotics on top of the soil. Mix Good Dirt Plant Food into your watering container (remember: 3 capfuls per gallon for outdoor plants!). Give your container a good drink of water – moist, but not soggy. 

Don’t be intimidated! If something doesn’t look quite right, you can always re-plant as needed until you love it.

Myth Busters

In your own research, you may find ideas or tutorials that advise adding gravel to the bottom of your pots or containers. Take it from us – do NOT add gravel to your plants.

Adding gravel under your potting mix creates a barrier between the soil and the drainage hole in your pot. When you water your plants, the gravel at the bottom will impede drainage, forcing water back up into your pot and causing root rot. Want to learn even more about the science behind this? Here’s a great graphic that illustrates this phenomenon:

Photo Credit: Parker County Texas Master Gardeners

Recommended Products

·       Good Dirt Outdoor Potting Mix

·       Good Dirt PlantBiotics

·       Good Dirt Plant Food

Check out our Outdoor Starter Kit for our favorite way to kick off a container garden!

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Yes! All our products are chemical-free, non-GMO, vegan, and sustainably produced. Safe to use near kids and pets, safe to use on edible plants, even safe if you have nut allergies.

BogBits® are our proprietary recycled by-product of sustainably harvested peat moss. It provides the permanent porosity that plants need to breathe and roots to thrive.

On a trip to Canada, our founders encountered a naturally occurring phenomenon found in peat moss bogs — ‘sticks’ that could be broken down into a fiber for a new type of potting mix. A kind of mix that would provide a better balance of air space and water retention; a better home for roots to grow and form.

Good Dirt® worked with a team to develop their own special recipe using this new magical ingredient, and BogBits was born.

BogBits are comprised of partially petrified peat from Canadian peat bogs. In years past, this by-product of peat moss harvest would have simply been discarded, or used to pave peat bog access roads.

Now, these BogBits have allowed us to create a rich, fluffy Soil Conditioner and Potting Mix with porosity unlike anything on the market.

Yes, all our products are vegan and plant based. We do not add any animal byproducts to any soil mixes or plant nutrition.

Many companies that add animal byproducts to their mixes or fertilizers are trying to balance the nutrients for plants. However, our Good Dirt Plant Food (included in our potting mixes, as well as sold separately for plant nutrition) does not need these ingredients. Our products are made from plants, for plants. The base of our plant food is derived from oilseed extract and contains everything Nature puts into a seed to reproduce the species. The natural oilseed extract contains NPK, trace elements, and all the organic compounds found in a seed, including all the essential plant amino acids.

Our soil mix recipes do not contain any nuts or peanuts that may potentially be harmful to gardeners with allergies, nor do our facilities process products that include nuts or peanuts. that may potentially be harmful to gardeners with allergies, nor do our facilities process products that include nuts or peanuts.

Our Plant Food is derived from a seed (oil seed to be specific) and contains all the nutrients a seed needs to germinate – for that reason it is great for ALL plants

It is made from plants, for plants. It contains all the compounds, amino acids, and trace elements a seed needs to germinate and all plants to thrive. The recipe is then enhanced with NPK 10-4-3 (which is not salt-based) so it won’t cause roots and leaves to burn.

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