What makes container gardening so popular? Because it's a great idea!
If you think of container gardening as putting a plant in a pot on the front step, then prepare to spread your design wings. There are many reasons for putting your flowers and foliage into containers. You are only limited by your own imagination.
Think about getting some height with tall containers and vertical plants like ornamental grasses or cannas. These plants will need the extra space for long roots too.
You may want to invest in urns, pottery or boxes that you are selected to be vessels for your gardening projects or you might have some interesting or funky things around the house that you can visualize in the garden.
Groupings of pots of different sizes can give you an instant garden anywhere you have the space. Not only do you avoid dealing with areas in your yard with inadequate soil, you'll also get a nice varience of heights that you don't get with planting directly in the ground.
Here are some tips for building a great container planting:
- It seems obvious but bears mentioning. Select plants that have like sunlight requirements!
- Try to avoid pots that are less than 10". Outdoors it will be fairly difficult to keep them well-watered once high summer arrives. Smaller pots also restrict the roots too much.
- Putting newspaper on inside the bottom of the container keeps soil from leaking out with waterings. After a while the roots will hold onto the soil and the paper will have degraded.
- Make sure you select containers with drainage. Planting in vessels with no drainage holes will quickly rot the roots of your plants.
- Use a light potting mix that allows good drainage. Most commercial mixes have the correct properties for containers. If you choose to make your own mix out of compost, be sure to add sand and peat moss.
- If you don't buy a mix with fertlizer already in it, you'll want to feed your containers every other time you water.
- If you're putting veggies or herbs in your plantings, go for an organic potting mix and fertilize with an organic vegetable food.
- Spaghnum moss will help retail moisture when putting hanging baskets together.
- It's a good idea to set your pots on stones or wood for better drainage. Most containers will need monitoring when in the afternoon sun.
- The best way to check whether or not a pot needs water is by lifting a bit. You'll see how heavy it is when well-watered. When it becomes light to lift, give it a thorough watering. For hanging baskets, just push up a little on the bottom of the container. The same priciple applies. Going by a watering schedule can lead to disappointment! Heat and humidity conditions can be different every day and the plants will respond accordingly.