The Benefits of Gardening in Pots

Pots can be moved to an optimal growing location in a yard and are ideal for growing anything that needs a lot of heat or has other special needs.

Photograph by MelanieMaler, courtesy of iStock.

Unless you’re determined to compete with Taber’s corn production, gardening in a pot can even be preferable to planting in the ground. “Containers are amazing for everyone,” says Donna Balzer, author of the bestselling book No Guff Vegetable Gardening and a regular expert-guest on CBC radio. “Many places in our yards aren’t ideal for growing, such as under trees with large root zones.” That, she says, can pose a problem even when a vegetable garden is 20 feet from the tree (“roots find a way,” she says, somewhat ominously). A pot, on the other hand, can be moved to an optimal growing location in the yard, expanding a garden’s real estate.

A container’s portability also makes it ideal for growing anything that needs a lot of heat — plants heat up more quickly in pots than in the ground — or has other special needs. If you’re trying to grow coralle fuchsia, for instance (and why wouldn’t you be?), you’ll need warmth and shade. “Fuchsias are so charming but they require a weird combination of conditions,” says Balzer. It’s a rare yard where such ideal ground is available exactly where you want it, but a pot full of fuchsia can be transported to its happiest place. Likewise, lowlight-thrivers such as hostas, begonias and astilbes can be planted in containers and placed under trees where they’ll thrive in the shade and remain out of reach of hungry slugs.

This article appears in the May 2020 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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