Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gardening In Containers

Whether you have a full garden or space limitations, container gardening gives you additional options. Containers like themes. Space limitations allow you to plant containers for need or aesthetics. Veggies can successfully be grown by picking containers that are large enough and plants that are compatable. Good drainage, proper sun requirements, rich soil, water, and fertilizing are all that's needed.

You don't need to buy expensive planters, get creative! A bushel basket will do just as well as a half whiskey barrel. A 5-gal bucket will do instead of a topsy turvy tomato hanger and you can decorate it yourself with paint, stickers, or cover it with fabric or a vinyl tablecloth to match your decor. You can add basil, strawberries or nasturtium plants to the top. You can also use an upside down tomato cage with a contractor's trash bag liner! Fasten together the small-end prongs of the cage. Make holes in the plastic for drainage and planting.

Make a simple macrame hanger from rope or twine to transform any container into a hanger. Hang from porch, house eaves, trees, shepherd's hook, clothes line...

Use a trellis to create a living wall of pots. Pieces of metal coathangers or heavy duty wire can be shaped into loops to hold individual pots of herbs or flowers for a unique presentation.

Even in a large garden, containers are used to add height or drama. Invasive plants like mints, lily-of-the-valley do well being contained by either sinking a large pot in the ground or raising above so roots never contact the soil. Creating an herb container is not only beautiful, it allows you to have kitchen door access at cooking time. A window box works very well too. You can just line the box with individual pots of herbs rather than planting them so you can bring them in for the winter.

Dead tree stumps make excellent containers! Hollow out a large hole or several smaller ones and plant some trailers like morning glories or ivy. Eventually this will aid the decomposition of the stump. If you like, just plop a pot on top. Add a shallow bowl for a birdbath or butterfly drinker.
A teacup of sugar water will bring hummingbirds or orioles. (1 part sugar to 4 parts water, bring to boil and cool, store excess in fridge)

I hope this inspires you to ty something new. I've used kids toys like wheelbarrow, dumptruck, small chair with seat removed successfully as containers and conversation pieces. An a-frame ladder works as a pot holder. The possibilities are endless and thrifty.
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