Even if you don’t have a big back yard, or any yard at all for that matter, you can still enjoy having a beautiful and productive garden in a wide variety of garden containers. All you need is a little creativity and you can transform any patio, deck or even doorstep into a work of art.
Space issues aside there are other reasons for using gardening containers. You are allowed the luxury of being able to move your garden containers around to achieve the effect you desire, and you can also move them around as they grow to make sure that each plant is showcased to its maximum potential.
Another benefit of garden containers is that when foul weather approaches or winter is setting in, you can simply bring your garden inside and continue to enjoy your plants through the gloomiest of winters.
All one has to do to be inspired to plant in garden containers, is to look to New York City and other metropolitan areas where space is at a premium; they simply moved their gardens to the roof tops! Not only do these roof top gardens provide the gardeners tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of city life, these container gardens help to improve air quality.
We have all been the garden supply stores and seen the different kinds and sizes of garden containers, but you don’t have to be limited to those selections, be creative! Remember that old urn you picked up at the estate sale? Or how about those old work boots? The boots may be too old to wear any more, but they can make interesting garden containers.
Two points to keep in mind here is that the container drains well (your plant will develop root rot if the roots stay soggy) and that the garden container won’t get too hot in the sun. A rule of thumb for drainage issues is to have one good sized drainage hole for every gallon of soil you will be using.
Another consideration when picking out a garden container is the size of the plant(s) you will be planting in it. Believe it or not there are times when size does matter! If the container is too small, the plant will become root bound very quickly and the soil will lose its ability to hold enough water between watering and that means it will become very easy for your plant too dry out and that makes for a very unhappy, and unhealthy plant.
Conversely, you don’t want to garden container to be too big. If the container is too big, your plant will spend all its energy on root growth and not on plant growth. Large containers such ½ whiskey barrels or bushel baskets are great for cucumbers, tomatoes, small trees or shrubs, and most perennial plants and herbs. Plants with shallow roots such as lettuce, most annuals, and annual herbs like planters around 6″ in diameter, and 8″ deep.