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Create a container garden

Create a container garden Container gardening is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the growing season. It is the practice of growing plants in containers instead of in the ground. This is really the perfect way to have a garden when your space is limited. Container gardening is a great way to show off your green thumb. Gardens can be entirely in containers or just have a few carefully placed planters. They add interest and can really give a stamp of originality to your garden. This is a great way to express your creativity and can make a truly one of a kind and special gift too.Container gardens are the perfect place to experiment and have fun. . Use whatever plants you like. Mix in perennials, shrubs, houseplants, vegetables and herbs. Container plants also add versatility to gardens large and small. They can lend instant color and character along with providing a focal point in the garden. It is an easy way to tie in the architecture of the home to the garden. There is no need to spend a lot of money on containers. This is the time to be creative. Look around your house or go to Flea Markets or even your local thrift store to find interesting items that will make a unique statement in your yard. Containers are fun to choose, to have that creative look in your yard. Hanging baskets, old boots, wagons, wheelbarrows, old galvanized tubs, pans all make for an imaginative container garden. To give your space an even more dramatic look, add plant stands of different materials for your containers to sit on.  

Below are a few ideas of what you can plant to make attractive container gardens

  • Using white or light colored florals in your container brightens up a dark area.
  • Adding the same type of flower used multiple times makes for a stunning display.
  • Just about anything can be used as a container for your garden.
  • Planting evergreens with annuals.
  • Herbs

Herbs make for great plants for containers.


Some plants should ONLY be grown in containers, due to their invasive tendencies. Mint needs to be kept in a container, because it spreads easily via roots, seeds, and runners. Mint relatives, such as lemon balm and oregano can also easily become invasive, and may be best grown in containers.

 

Suggestions for an Herb Pot:

Select your herbs. When making an herb pot, it is essential to have a good variety of herbs and companion plants that will assist your culinary pursuits. Some good choices include:

Sweet Marjoram, Lemon Balm, Sage, Common Basil, Mint, thyme, Oregano, Hot Pepper

Planting theme containers are a fun idea: For example if Italian Food is your preference, try planting Chives, Oregano and Sweet Basil.

Herbs that go well with Potatoes such as dill, Chives, Rosemary and Parsley.

A Salsa garden is always a fun and creative container to plant, peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro.

All these items can be planted in the same container.

Suggestions of plants that work well together and some to avoid:

Good Companions:

  • Beans, carrots, squash
  • Eggplant, beans
  • Tomatoes, basil, onions
  • Lettuce, herbs
  • Spinach, chard, onions

 

Combinations to Avoid

 

  • Beans with onions and garlic
  • Carrots with dill or fennel
  • Tomatoes or squash with potatoes
  • Onions with beans and peas

 

For the most part, pots that are bigger are better especially for plants like tomatoes. Some vegetables need more depth than width to grow. Keep that in mind when choosing containers to plant vegetables such as carrots or radishes.

Pots made out of clay dry out faster than pots made of plastic or wood so watering will be more frequent.

You don’t need much to get started with container gardening, but there are a few essentials that will give you a better chance of success:

 

Keep in mind when starting to put together a container garden.

 

Soil – Good soil is essential for all container-grown plants. Fill the container with quality potting soil up to an inch from the rim – any more soil will wash out when you water. Expect some settling of soil over time.

Water – More frequent watering is necessary for container plants. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Continue watering until liquid runs from the bottom of the container. In the hot days of summer, containers may require daily watering. If you are combining plant varieties in a container, make sure the moisture requirements are the same.

Food – Use diluted plant food. Because water drains out more quickly, so will the fertilizer. You may fertilize your container garden with either a slow-release fertilizer or a water-soluble, quick release fertilizer such as 20-20-20.

Light – Provide light requirements as dictated by the variety. If you are combining plant varieties in a container, make sure the light requirements are the same. Remember to turn the containers occasionally to maximize light exposure on all sides.

Planting – Space vegetable, herb, and flower transplants about 1/3 closer than in the garden. This guarantees a full container with a great appearance. A tree or shrub root ball should be only slightly smaller than the container. Repot as needed when growth dictates. It’s a good idea to repot every 3-4 years to replace soil which has experienced salt build-up.

Temperature – Container plants require extra care to prevent overheating or freezing. Either can cause drying out.

Grooming – Prune, deadhead and pinch back as needed. Check container plants often to keep hem from getting leggy. Watch for disease and pests. Remove dead foliage and flowers to prevent fungal diseases. Because container plants are closer together, the opportunity for disease is greater.

 

Steps in preparing a container garden

 

Prepare the pot.

Make sure that your pot has holes in the bottom for good drainage.

Take your gravel or grit, and pour this into the container to about a quarter of the pot’s depth.

Fill. Once the gravel is in place, start to fill the pot with a multi-purpose, or soil-based compost. This should fill approximately three quarters of the pot’s remaining depth.Place the herb plants into the pot, with

about 15cm between each stem. Squeeze each herb gently from its temporary pot, and tease the roots from the root ball; this will encourage them to spread out.

Place the taller plants in the center of the display and the trailing ones near the edge. This will help to ensure the best growth. The display may look messy at first but will fill out and look lush within a few weeks

Fill in around the planted herbs. Once you are happy with the positions, start to fill the gaps between the plants with compost.

Firmly, push the compost into the gaps by pushing your fingers deep into the soil that you has just added, being careful not to damage any roots.

Fertilize Obtain a controlled release fertilizer.

 

WaterWater thoroughly, until the water starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot. The compost needs to absorb a lot on first watering, Continue to water over the coming months, at least every few days, or when the soil seems dry. Herbs like to dry out betweenwater.