A container garden is a multi-functional part of any landscape and it’s easy to create. I have some container garden ideas and tips that will show you how to successfully plant and grow an organic container garden this year.
You can grow food or flowers in containers. They enhance the appearance of the landscape and provide a creative outlet for the gardener. Also, it can be an ideal way to recycle unused items.
What are the Advantages of Container Gardens?
Container gardens allow you to grow plants regardless of where you live. City dwellers with no outdoor land-space can still grow plants in containers and so can people who are unable to tend to large outdoor garden plots.
Containers of plants can be grown indoors or outdoors and enable you to have fresh food and/or blooms for most of the year.
The only minor disadvantages of container gardening are that your plants will require more watering and perennial plants will need to re-potted annually.
Some Ideas for Suitable Containers
If a container can hold soil, it can be used to grow a plant. An organic container garden can be established by recycling a play wagon or sand pails the kids have outgrown, or in antique galvanized wash tubs that remind you of grandma, newly built wooden boxes, or ceramic pots all in the same color.
The containers used should be at least 6-inches deep and equally as wide. As a general green-thumb rule, the larger a plant grows, the larger the container will need to be. Herbs grow fine in small containers but a tomato plant will need more room to spread its roots.
Whatever you use, the container will need sufficient drainage holes in the bottom to allow for excess water to drain out. Place coffee filters or a sheet of newspaper inside the bottom of the container before filling it with potting soil to prevent the soil from leaching out when the plant is watered.
Also, remember that terra cotta containers will absorb moisture and wick the water away from plants. When using them the plants will require more frequent watering to maintain a good growth rate. For this reason some gardeners prefer plastic or other pots when growing fruit and vegetables.
Where is the Best Location for an Organic Container Garden?
Most food-producing plants will require a minimum of 6-hours of sunlight each day. Flowers and houseplants will either be sun-lovers or shade-lovers. Determine what level of sun exposure your chosen location has and select plants accordingly.
Select the sunniest location that you have available for the outdoor container garden. Also, a position that is near a water source will make watering the plants simpler. The closer your organic container garden is located to your house, the easier it will be to tend to the plants.
A sunny patio, deck, or balcony is a great place for a container garden. You can increase the growing space in these areas by creating a vertical container garden. Use shelving, hanging baskets, strawberry towers, and stacking planters to create a productive vertical garden in a small outdoor space.
Container-grown plants might need to be moved during the day so they can have the maximum sun exposure. Small containers are easy to move but large, heavy containers can pose a problem. You can solve this problem by attaching wheels to the bottom of the containers or setting the containers on wheeled dollies before filling them with potting soil.
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Some Ideas for Planting in Your Containers
You will want to grow as many plants as possible in each container to maximize production. However, over-crowding will reduce plant productivity; you don’t want to create a tangled mess of plants.
Plant a thriller, spiller, and filler in each container (12-inch containers or larger) for aesthetics and production. The thriller is the tallest plant in the center of the container, the spiller is the plant the spills over the container sides and the filler is a low-growing plant that fills in any gaps and covers the soil.
A good example of this planting method is a tomato plant, a dwarf cucumber vine, and oregano. Look for dwarf plants to use in your container garden as they will produce the full-sized vegetables and fruits but on smaller plants, that are better suited to life in a container.
I hope that these organic container garden ideas will help you incorporate a productive and attractive garden into your available outdoor or indoor space. Have fun, be creative, and grow fresh, organic foods and colorful flowers to improve your diet and enhance your living space.