Container gardens are a great way to spruce up a bland yard, without the hassle of preparing soil and dealing with weeds. It is relatively easy to create stunning containers, with the right steps.
Picking a Pot
The first thing you will need to do to create the perfect container garden is a container. You need to find a container that has excellent drainage. Drainage holes allow excess water to leave the container, which keeps the roots of your plants from rotting. Great containers include cast-iron, terra cotta, resin, and baskets.
Check whatever container you are looking at for drainage holes. If it is a wooden or plastic container and does not have drainage holes, drill four or five half-inch holes per square foot on the bottom of the container. Three sheets of newspaper covering these holes will keep the soil in.
If you purchase a wood or terra cotta container, know that you will need to water daily. These materials cause the soil to dry out faster, as they soak the water into the container itself. Metal and plastic containers need watering every other day. If you desire the look of terra cotta without the weight and expense, there are plastic containers that have been made to look like authentic terra cotta.
One interesting way to make your own pot is to take a junk item, like an unused trough, and make it into a container. All you have to do is drill drainage holes into the bottom of your new container. If you want to use a basket as your container, line the basket with sphagnum moss or coco fiber. Not only will this create a pleasing affect, but it will also allow water to drain while keeping the soil in place.
Picking the Pansies
Flowers are the most important part of the container garden. The wrong combination will be boring and ugly, but the right combination will create the stunning look you are looking for. The best plants for a container garden will be a variety of upright, mounding and trailing plants. Consider choosing three-one upright plant, one mounding plant, and one trailing plant. The upright plant will be the focal point, so choose one with a pleasing flower. The mounding plant will fill in the dead spaces. The trailing plant hides the edge of your container.
The world of gardening offers so many colors to choose from. Make sure you choose plants that have the same light and moisture requirements, and from there, choose the ones you think look great together. Keep in mind where you are going to be putting your container garden, and buy plants that will thrive in that amount of lighting.
Caring for Your Container Garden
In the spring it is time to plant your garden. Include slow-release fertilizer into the potting soil, if it does not include some. As you plant your plants, loosen the roots around the sides and the bottom of the plant. Watch the thermometer. If it is going to freeze in the spring, either bring your garden indoors, or cover it with a sheet or blanket. Your plants will be fragile during the spring, so keep them from freezing. If you have planted climbing plants, put your trellis in place during the spring. This way the plants can be trained to climb as they begin growing.
In the summer, it is important to pay attention to the watering of the container garden. You can tell by feeling the soil whether or not it needs to be watered. In the middle of the summer, spread some fertilizer on the soil in your garden. Once flowers are done blooming, clip them off, as this will encourage the plant to bloom again. Consider elevating your container slightly to discourage bugs from entering the pot.
In the fall you can replace your summer plants with cool-weather plants like chrysanthemums and pansies. Fall flowers can be tucked into the bare areas of the container. Once the weather turns to freezing, move any plants you want to save inside. If you are going to start over in the spring, clean your container with hot, soaping water, and store it appropriately.
The great thing about container gardens is they can go anywhere. If you wish to add a splash of color to your porch or deck, or that dead spot in your front yard, a container garden is a great idea. Start planning now for your container garden!