Book Review: Container Gardening for Dummies by Bill Marken, Suzzane DeJohn

Decided to read this book after reading the “Gardening Basics for Dummies” as I have been getting hot and heavy into raised-bed container gardening.

There are pros and cons of gardening in containers. I like the portability and the modular nature of containers (less prone to normal soil diseases) but dislike the time consuming, manual watering. For lots of people living in high rise, this may be the only choice. Like most for-dummies books, it’s a good basic book that cover the basic but I think it’s probably good enough for most people who live in the city and small gardening space. The unique challenges of the container gardening are highlighted to be overcome.

Part 1 is about getting ready for potting. Pros and Cons are discussed in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 covers the climate. I learned that pots are exposed to more temperature extremes due to its small mass. How to pick the pots is considered in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 gets the soil right. The author recommends 1/2 cubic yard of sphagnum peat moss, 1/2 cubic yard of vermiculite, plus 10 lbs bone meal, 5 lbs, dolomitic limestone, 5 lbs, blood meal. Then Chapter 5 gives you all you need to plant it into the pot.

Part 2 covers the annuals, plants, vegetables, herbs, and bulbs.

Part 3 covers the perennials and indoor gardening.

Part 4 helps you maintain the plants’ health on watering, fertilizing, repotting, pests and diseases.

Part 5 goes into the designing and decoration with the container plants.

Part 6 contains the part of ten or the top 10 ways to make gardening more accessible, 10+ categories of plants for easy annual flowers, easy vegetables and herbs, to start from seeds, attractive & edible plants, fragrant plants, deer-resistant plants, gift plants. There are more plants you can’t go wrong with for full sun, and part shade, and shade, and annual flowers by shape (tall, shrubby, and trailing).