Container gardening gives everyone the opportunity to reap the benefits of plants regardless of the size and type of space they have available. A garden can be created in any type of container and consist of any mixture of flowers, shrubs, trees, and herbs. This gardening technique is easy and economical to create and maintain.
Sum up the Space
The first step in container gardening is to assess the area you would like to use. The size and type of space you have available is vital in deciding on the right container. If your porch is only three feet by six feet, you would be a lot happier with a plant stand and small pots hanging on the wall rather than a large tub that you would trip over consistently. It is also important to note the amount and time of day the area receive sunlight when examining the space. Without the right amount of sunlight, your plants will die leaving you frustrated rather than enjoying the relaxation that plants provide. It is also important to choose a container and plants that match the style and theme in the space in order to prevent it from sticking out like a sore thumb.
Find the Right Container
Although some adaptation may be required, almost anything can be used for a container garden so long as it provides adequate space and drainage for the plants. For large containers, items such as wheelbarrows and wine barrels work well. If you require something a little smaller, consider items such as a decorative jar, a teapot or an old cowboy boot. Hanging baskets or pots set on an old ladder are ideal for adding plants to a vertical space.
When choosing a container, also take into account the material it is made of. Dark colored containers, or those made of metal or plastic will attract heat and limit the amount of air your plants will receive. If you choose one of these containers, simply set your plants into a different container and place it inside of the original.
Pick a Plant
As long as the plants you choose match the sunlight the area receives, almost any type of vegetation can be used in container gardening. Miniature trees or shrubs, for instance, work well as a focal point for your garden when surrounded by lower growing plants such as basil and ivy. Annuals and perennials can also be combined in the same container. To keep perennials from dying over the winter, simply sink the pot into the ground or move it to the basement cold room before the first freeze. If you are seeking a more functional container, vegetables, fruit, and herbs look great in containers while supplying your kitchen with fresh produce.
Put it Together
Once you have gathered everything you need, it is time to piece it all together. If drainage is an issue with your container, simply make a hole in the bottom of it or add Styrofoam to the bottom of the container before adding your potting soil. Next, fill the container just below the halfway point with potting soil and arrange your plants. To finish it off, fill the container a couple of inches from the top with potting soil and give it some water.
After your container is completed, it is time to sit back and watch it grow. Container gardening offers you the benefits of a garden without the space and expense of traditional gardening. Try using a variety of containers or displaying them in an unusual way. The versatility and creativity of container gardening makes them perfect to add a personal touch to your home.