Outdoor Planting: Garden or Pot?

Outdoor Planting: Garden or Pot?

When it comes to outdoor gardening, there are always important decisions to make. One choice that many face is whether to plant their new outdoor amigo into a garden, or keep them snug in a pot. Each option has its perks and pitfalls, and understanding the nuances can help you make the best choice for your outdoor amigos. Let's dive into the Garden vs. Pot debate and explore the ins and outs of outdoor plant care!


Planting in a Garden


Room to Grow: Gardens offer plants the freedom to stretch out their roots and grow to their full potential.

Natural Nutrients: Soil in gardens tends to be richer in nutrients, providing plants with a steady supply of food.

Rainwater Access: Garden plants benefit from natural rainwater, reducing the need for manual watering.

Winter Hardiness: Garden plants often develop stronger root systems when planted directly in the earth, making them more resilient to harsh winter conditions. This increased hardiness can help them withstand freezing temperatures and frost, ensuring their survival through the colder months.

Ecosystem Support: Gardens attract beneficial insects, birds, and other wildlife, and can lend a helpful hand to our ecosystem.


Limited Mobility: Once planted, garden plants are stationary, making it challenging to relocate them if needed.

Soil Quality Concerns: Poor soil quality can hinder plant growth, requiring additional amendments and maintenance.

Pest and Disease Risks: Garden plants may be more susceptible to pests and diseases without the protective barrier of pots.

Common Garden-Friendly Plants:
Thuja occidentalis


Planting in Pots


Versatility: Pots allow for flexibility in plant placement, making it easy to rearrange your outdoor space.

Controlled Environment: Potted plants offer more control over soil quality, moisture levels, and sun exposure.

Pest Protection: Pots provide a physical barrier against pests and diseases, reducing the risk of infestations, and making them easier to spot and control if they do sneak their way onto your plant.

Space Saving: Let’s face it, not everyone has the space or landscape for a garden. Keeping potted plants is ideal for smaller outdoor spaces like patios!


Limited Root Space: Plants in pots have restricted root zones, which can stunt growth if not properly managed.

Watering Requirements: Potted plants may require more frequent watering, especially during hot, dry weather.

Soil Compaction: Over time, soil in pots can become compacted, affecting drainage and root health.

Frost Vulnerability: Potted plants are more susceptible to frost damage in cold climates, requiring winter protection.

Common Pot-Friendly Plants:
Herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint
Annuals such as petunias and marigolds
Dwarf fruit trees like lemon, lime, and fig
Succulents and cacti

So whether you choose to cultivate your outdoor amigos in a garden or in pots, each method has its own set of advantages and considerations. Assess your space, climate, and preferences to determine the best option for you and your plants! Happy gardening!

Be sure to check out our blogs, Understanding Hardiness Zones in Canada, and A Simple Guide to Garden Soil, for more spring gardening tips!

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