Tag: container gardening

Plants that Love Leca as a Growing Medium

Plants that Love Leca as a Growing Medium

Ever wondered what types of plants love leca as a growing medium? If you follow our content or get our newsletter, you know we love using leca in gardening. Leca is a more niche growing medium in the gardening industry, but its been growing in…

What is Coco Peat?

What is Coco Peat?

You may or may not have heard of coco peat before. Its been growing in popularity in the gardening industry as a form of growing medium, or addition to soil mixes. Today we’re covering what coco peat is, and the different uses and benefits of…

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Container Gardening

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Container Gardening

As you may have guessed, there are both advantages and disadvantages of container gardening. Sometimes container gardening is the only option if you’re living in either a rented space or smaller space.

Other times, you might be able to consider either container gardening or a traditional in ground garden. Our goal today is to help you compare the advantages and disadvantages of container gardening to help you decide if container gardening is the right choice for you.

Looking for more content on container gardening? We have a bunch of resources for new container gardeners, check it out here.


Able to Garden in a Small Space

The first major advantage to container gardening is that you can garden in a small space. If you’re in an apartment, or a house without a large yard, it may not be an option at all to have an in ground garden.

Another consideration is if you only want to plant a couple of plants, it may not be worth taking the space up with an in ground garden. Planting a couple of plants may not be worth the hassle of setting up an in ground garden. A good alternative could be to plant your plants in containers.

Plants can be Moved as needed

This may be an obvious perk of container gardening, but its a perk none the less.

If you plant your garden in containers, they can be moved around as needed. This is particularly useful if you’re renting a space or may be moving at some point in the future. Container gardens are easy to pick up and move to your new place whenever you need!

You can also bring your plants indoors during the winter. This means that your plants can live a lot longer than a normal grow season, and depending on the type of plant some can live year round. You can even bring your plants indoor or outdoor as needed when the weather fluctuates.

No Heavy Garden Equipment Needed

When setting up an in ground garden you often need a fair amount of expensive equipment. Soil tillers, wheel barrels, sprinkler systems, garden hoes and more are all things that you might need to get started with an in ground garden.

Container gardening, on the other hand, really only requires pots, potting soil, and your plant of choice. They’re much simpler and easier to set up and take care of season after season.

No Weeding Necessary

With container gardening, you virtually never have to weed your garden. You’re also less likely to run into pest issues that you’d have in an in ground garden.


Plants cant draw nutrients from the ground

In an in ground garden, your plants pull nutrients and moisture from the ground. When you put plants in containers, they lose this ability. This can somewhat be balanced out by fertilizers and ensuring that your potting soil is made with high quality ingredients.

Another benefit plants get when living in an in ground garden is earthworms help fertilize the soil. This isn’t something that’s really possible for container gardens, so that is a disadvantage and something to keep in mind.

More likely to overwater

Overwatering is a pitfall that many beginner gardeners run into. In an in ground garden, its not as likely to be detrimental to your plants. This is because water will run over your plants roots and get soaked into the ground.

When plants are in a pot, the water is contained in one area. You can mitigate this somewhat by adding drainage holes, mixing in perlite to your soil, or other solutions. However even with these solutions in place you need to be mindful that its possible to overwater plants when container gardening.

Another lesser known issue that plants in containers can run into during summer months is overheating. Especially in pots made of terracotta or something similar, overheating can be an issue that damages roots of plants and dehydrates them. Be mindful of how much direct sun the pots are getting and if you’re concerned, you can also consider a grow bag.

Not all Plants do well in Containers

The final disadvantage we’ll mention is that at the end of the day, not all pots do well in containers. While many can thrive, its just not optimal for a few types of plants.

This can be disheartening if you’re looking to plant a specific type and don’t have space for an in ground garden, but its better to know upfront than to plant something that will end up withering away in your pot.

Do your research on the type of plant you’re planning to plant in a container before actually planting, you may save yourself some heartache in the future.

Do you have an in ground garden, or a container garden? Let us know in the comments below!

Plants that Need a Plant Humidifier

Plants that Need a Plant Humidifier

A plant humidifier can help many types of plants thrive during drier months. There are some types of plants that need higher levels of humidity than the average plant though. Today we’re covering both our top pick for plant humidifiers, and a few varieties of…

The Best Potting Mix for Vegetable Container Gardening

The Best Potting Mix for Vegetable Container Gardening

The best potting mix for vegetable container gardening can be tricky to find. Think of soil you use for your plants is the investment you make up front to get high quality harvests later on in the season. If you skimp on your potting mix,…

Why Every Beginner Gardener should use a Soil Moisture Meter

Why Every Beginner Gardener should use a Soil Moisture Meter

We’ve all done it before. We’ve all checked the moisture of our plant’s soil with our fingers. Its a good quick fix, or “rule of thumb” if you will (pun intended). However, a much more accurate and efficient way to check your soil’s moisture is to use a soil moisture meter.

Today, we’re covering the best soil moisture meter options, how to use them, and different considerations when selecting one.

The Best Soil Moisture Meter for Beginners: Vivosun Soil Tester

Soil Moisture Meters are fairly inexpensive and generally available either on Amazon, or at other big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes. However, we do have a top pick for beginners to start with, and that’s the Vivosun Soil Tester.

This is our top pick for 3 main reasons. The first being, its more than just a soil moisture meter. This moisture meter can test pH and light as well as moisture levels. This allows you to monitor multiple different factors at once and determine what exactly your plant needs. Note this device is only meant for soil pH testing, and cannot be used to test water pH.

The second reason we like this moisture meter is that the sensors are longer than some other models of moisture meters, making it able to reach deep down into pots (or the ground). This means it will be able to get a read on the middle roots of the plant, which are often the ones that are dry.

Third reason we like this model over other options is that it is super simple to operate. No batteries required, simply unbox and begin using! Its super easy for beginners to get quick and accurate reads with this device.

Why should I use a Soil Moisture Meter?

There are a number of reasons that you should begin using a moisture meter for your plants. Especially as a beginner, this device can save you a lot of time and trouble researching issues with your plants.

Monitor Moisture Levels Accurately

You’ve probably heard of the “trick” to telling if your plants need more water is to stick your fingers a couple of inches down into the soil that you’re plant is potted in.

This trick is not the best, for a couple of reasons. The first one is its not very accurate. When measuring with your fingers, you’re likely only getting the top couple of inches as a baseline.

Its also probable that you’re measuring from the edge of the pot, when in reality you want to measure you’re plants moisture levels as close to the center of the root ball as possible.

Enter your moisture meter. A good moisture meter will have long prongs that you insert directly towards the center of the root ball. It should also have a gauge that tells you what level of moisture the soil is at (the metrics vary but often go from a scale of 1-10 or something similar).

Avoid Disturbing Your Plants

The prongs on a moisture meter are useful for another reason besides accuracy. A moisture meter is minimally invasive, and you reduce the risk of disturbing your plants.

When using your finger to check the moisture levels you’re either checking the outer rim of the pot, which is inaccurate, or checking the center and risking disturbing your plants roots. Some heartier plants don’t mind a little disturbance. More sensitive plants though (we’re looking at you, fiddle leaf fig) might not appreciate their roots being moved around by fingers a couple of times a week.

Avoid Over Watering or Under Watering

One of the most common reasons new gardeners kill their plants (especially when planting in pots) is overwatering. You get over-excited about a new plant and want to water it multiple times a week, or even every day, to ensure that its not dry and thirsty.

The problem is, many plants need a lot less water than you think. Especially if you’re working with pots that have poor or no drainage, your plant is keeping that water in the pot and likely doesn’t need the frequency or quantity of water that you’re giving it.

The opposite risk is of course underwatering. You don’t want your plant to be thirsty and constantly in need of water.

A soil moisture meter will help you manage the moisture levels of your plants and prevent you from either overwatering or underwatering your plants.

Test more than just Moisture

Last major perk we’re going to talk about when it comes to soil moisture meters is that often, your meter will come with a variety of other features as well. The Vivosun Soil Tester we mentioned earlier in this article has a 3 in 1 feature. It not only tests soil moisture levels, but also soil pH and light.

How to Use a Soil Moisture Meter

Using a soil moisture meter is fairly straight forward. Depending on the type you purchase, it may require batteries. But after unboxing and powering up, you should be able to stick the prongs down into your soil and capture an accurate reading.

How often should I check my plant’s moisture levels?

We recommend checking a couple of times a week if you’re unsure of how thirsty your plant actually is. If you know that your plant likes to stay dry, you can reduce that frequency.

Overall though, there’s no harm in checking the levels, so feel free to check as often as you like! Once you get a feel for how often your plant needs water you’ll be able to adjust your frequency accordingly.

Interested in learning more tips and tricks on potted plants? Check out our container gardening section or indoor plant guides for more resources!

How to Grow Mushrooms on Logs

How to Grow Mushrooms on Logs

A mushroom log is not a well known method of gardening when it comes to growing your own food. In fact, mushrooms are often overlooked when people consider growing their own food, which is a shame! Mushrooms can be grown indoors with very little light,…

8 Best Microgreen Seeds to Harvest at Home

8 Best Microgreen Seeds to Harvest at Home

Microgreen seeds are one of the easiest ways to start growing your own food. And there are so many options on which seeds to grow! Which is the most beginner friendly? Which ones are full of flavor, while others are more mild? We’re covering our…

The Best Plant Humidifier for Your Indoor Plants

The Best Plant Humidifier for Your Indoor Plants

If you’re new to gardening, a plant humidifier may not be something you’ve ever heard of or considered. We’re covering the best options for plant humidifiers today and if/when they’re necessary for your indoor plants.

Do You Need a Plant Humidifier?

In truth, some plants can survive and even thrive without extra humidity. Succulents, for example, thrive in dry conditions with little moisture in the air.

For most other types of house plants adding extra humidity is beneficial to the plant health. Some plants will tolerate dryer conditions, so if you ask if it is absolutely necessary for every type of plant, the answer is no. However most plants would appreciate some extra moisture and some plants really do need the additional help to grow and thrive in an indoor environment.

Especially in the winter months, the air in your home can get particularly dry. Just like this weather is rough on your skin, your plants suffer too! Many popular indoor plants like fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants too, and appreciate as much humidity as they can get.

Types of Plant Humidifiers

There are two main types of plant humidifiers that you can purchase.


The evaporative plant humidifier works probably like you’d expect – it creates humidity by heating water and causing it to evaporate. Evaporative humidifiers can be cheaper than other types, but has a few downfalls. First, its generally noisier. Second, because its heating water you’ll have to be careful not to burn anything from the heat within the unit when changing or refilling.

Evaporative humidifiers also come with filters which helps prevent bacteria and mold, but it is something that you’ll have to change and clean. The frequency that you have to change this filter will be noted on the instructions when you purchase your plant humidifier.


An ultrasonic plant humidifier uses high frequency vibration to cause the water to evaporate. These humidifiers tend to be a little more expensive than evaporative plant humidifier. They have no filter to change. They’re generally quieter than other types.

The biggest perk is that unlike evaporative humidifiers, they’re not heating up any water so there’s no risk of burning anything when changing the water.

The Best Plant Humidifiers for Indoor Plants

Our top pick: LACIDOLL Humidifier

Type: Ultrasonic
Capacity: 21 L/5.5 Gal
Run Time: 48 hours

Our number one pick that combines affordability with features is the Lacidoll humidifier. This ultrasonic humidifier has an LED screen that tells you the current room humidity.

There are 4 mist level settings to switch between Low, Medium, High and Turbo output. It also has built-in humidistat accurately detects the humidity in your room and auto adjusts to your preset humidity level from 40% to 90%.

Best Premium Plant Humidifier: Levoit Humidifier

Type: Ultrasonic
Capacity: 285-376 sq. ft
Run Time: up to 40 hours

The Levoit Humidifier is a quiet, sleek humidifier with several key features that make it our premium option. It has a run time of up to 40 hours, so you wont constantly be refiling this machine.

What sets it apart from other models is the smart features. This plant humidifier can connect into Alexa and Google Assistant systems. You can also connect to it via an app and seamlessly monitor moisture levels with ease.

Apart from the smart features, this unit also offers 3 different mist levels, a 360 degree nozzle, and is noted as a super quiet unit by many reviewers on Amazon.

Best Budget Option: Pure Enrichment Mistare

Type: Ultrasonic
Capacity: 175 sq. ft.
Run Time: 7-10 hours

The pure enrichment mistaire humidifier is a good option for those looking for a lower priced unit. It does away with a lot of the bells and whistles of some of the more premium models.

Another downside is the run time is only 7-10 hours. However this humidifier covers up to 175 sq. ft and has 2 different output levels. It also has a nightlight mode option, making it convenient for a bedroom.

Best For Small Spaces: ARPSTAR Mini Humidifier

Type: Ultrasonic
Capacity: 320ml
Run Time: 4-8 hours working

A quiet, space saving design is what sets the Arpstar cool mist humidifier apart from other models. It’s similar to the budget option listed above, but has slightly more sq. foot coverage. Its great for small spaces where you don’t want to devote an entire area to a humidifier. The design is also sleek enough to blend in to other modern aesthetics without looking like a sore thumb in the room.

You’re still giving up some of the bells and whistles comparing this model to premium versions, but if space is your top priority this model is a good option.

Best Large Capacity: Elec Homes Humidifier

Type: Ultrasonic
Capacity: 755 square ft.
Run Time: 12 – 40 hours

If you’ve got a large room that you want to add humidity to, the elec homes is a good option to consider. This unit covers up to 755 square feet. It also has a sleep mode, and is noted as a quiet unit by many reviewers on Amazon. It has 3 levels of output and comes with a remote control for an easy settings change.

What to Consider

Run Time

You’ll want to ensure you select a humidifier that has at least a 12 hour run time, meaning it can run for 12 hours without needing to be refilled. A 24 hour run time would be even better, which would mean you’ll only need to refill the humidifier once per day. The more often you need to refill, the more hassle the process is. Minimizing this step will keep it easy and low maintenance to keep up.

Proper placement

Contrary to what you might think, you actually don’t want your humidifier directly next to any of your plants. You want the humidifier to raise the overall humidity levels in the air, not to spray water directly on plants. We recommend placing your plant humidifier at least 6 feet away from your plants.

Size of Room

The size of the room you want to place your humidifier in is something to consider. When evaluating different plant humidifiers most pages will quote the square footage that the unit is effective for. Think of this as a radius around the unit that it will be effective for.

Its ok to place it in a room that is larger than the capacity (for plant purposes), but you dont want to place the humidifier on the other side of a large room when its capacity is only 200 square feet.

Humidifier maintenance and cleaning

The frequency of which you’ll have to clean your humidifier will vary depending on if you put filtered water or tap water in your humidifier. Either is totally fine to use, but filtered will likely build up bacteria quicker than filtered water will.

At a minimum we recommend planning to clean your plant humidifier at least once a week. However, you may need to do it more frequently and its best to monitor for the first few weeks after your initial setup.

Other ways to Raise Plant Humidity

There are several other ways to raise humidity for your plants. They may not be quite as efficient, but if your plant only needs a slight change in humidity they might do the trick.

Place your Plant within another planter

Especially if you’re using porous planters like terracotta, you can raise the humidity by placing your planter within another planter. Next, fill the empty space with moss and water the moss. This will keep moisture around the outside of the planter and raise the humidity for the plant inside.

Place plants on a bed of gravel/water mix

Fill a container with small pebbles or gravel. Fill this container just below the tops of the pebbles with water, then place your plant on top of the bed of gravel. This will passively pull water up into the plant. This will slightly raise the humidity, but will not drastically change the humidity levels. if you need a drastic change, a plant humidifier is a better method.

Want to read more about indoor plant and container gardening tips? Check out our container gardening section of the blog!

How to Start an Herb Garden on Your Balcony

How to Start an Herb Garden on Your Balcony

Ever thought about starting an herb garden on your balcony, but not sure where to begin? Herbs are one of the easier categories of plants for beginners to start with. They usually grow relatively fast compared to other fruits or vegetables, and provide a lot…