So, you have decided what to plant, what kind of container to use, and where to put it. Now it is time to prepare the container for your plants. To start, you will want to make sure the pot is clear of any debris, especially if it has been used previously. A quick thorough rinse with a hose should do the trick. The next step is to fill the container with potting mix. If you are worried about your soil falling out of the drainage holes, you can place a paper towel or newspaper at the bottom, which will still allow water drain but prevent any soil from falling out and making a mess.
We don’t recommend putting pottery shards or rocks at the bottom. Often it is believed that adding such material can save on the amount of soil needed to fill the container as well as help with drainage. Unfortunately, such material can potentially clog drainage holes, and it is often unnecessary because many potting mixes are designed to drain by including ingredients like perlite or vermiculite.
When it comes to filling your container, make sure you fill it most of the way but leave a little space at the top so that the water doesn’t run off and pull soil with it when you water your plants. You can premoisten the soil or thoroughly soak it after. When you wet the soil, you will notice it compacts. Because of this compaction, you may need to add more soil and moisten again.
Now your container is ready for planting. Dig a space for your seedling and plant it!