Container Gardening

Why Is Container Gardening Is Growing In Popularity

Container gardening has been around for along time, even before the sixth century B.C. when Egyptian King Nebuchadnezzar II created the famous hanging gardens of Babylon for his homesick Persian wife. However, small-space gardening has been growing in popularity in recent years for several interesting reasons. People who have plenty of room to plant a traditional garden have seen how decks, patios, balconies, entrances, and windows are enhanced by gorgeous garden planters and pots filled with stunning flower displays, green leafy plants, and trailing vines, and have elected to add container gardening to their living space. As well, the population explosion has caused such an increase in housing costs that more and more people are living in apartments, condos, and townhouses, and their gardening has been restricted to small areas.

What Are the Major Motivators for Container Gardening?

1. You can save time, space, and energy when you confine your gardening to containers:

- There is less weeding, and less effort required to tend your garden.

- If you have restricted movements or strength, you can elevate planters to make them easier to reach and maintain.

- You don't have to battle all the insects and diseases that run rampant through ground soil.

2. It is less expensive than landscaping your entire yard with multi-flower and -vegetable beds.

3. Planters and pots are portable and can be moved as the sun moves and the weather changes in order to accommodate seasonal plantings.

4. You can grow your own fresh, organic produce even if you have very little room.

5. If you move to a new home, you can take your garden with you.

6. Natural shade can be provided almost anywhere by growing small trees, shrubs, and vines in containers.

Container Gardening Tips

1. For ideas on such subjects as organic vegetable gardening, effective medicinal herbs, the making of herbal remedies, or the planting and care of unusual plants, consult ebooks or videos that can be purchased online.

2. Match your containers to the character of your home and use them to create particular styles and themes. Examples: molded fiberglass planters , cast cement urns, and ceramic planters are suitable for romantic, classical, or formal styles; wood, terracotta, or plastic-lined baskets or barrels and plastic containers complement informal or cottage styles; and streamlined metal planters accent a contemporary look. Consider not only the style and color but texture as well when choosing planters, and remember that almost any material can be adapted to any style. Also, when choosing sizes, large planters mean larger plants - crowding can stunt plant growth.

3. All plants, including desert plants, require good drainage. Cover the bottom of your planter with gravel or small rocks to help retain soil and water and to protect the root system from rot.

4. See that planters and pots containing fruit-bearing vegetables are positioned to receive six hours of sun a day; less is required for leafy vegetables ( e.g., lettuce). Use planters designed for tomatoes and strawberries to maximize the size of these crops, and see that vegetables and fruits with vines (e.g., tomatoes and runner beans) are properly staked.

5. Use prepared potting soil, not garden soil, and make sure plants are watered and fertilized frequently since nutrients can't be drawn from the ground.

6. If you are planning to grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs, you can reduce your consumption of toxic and chemical products by growing these plants in organic soil and using organic fertilizers and non-chemical insecticides (or make your own insecticides with such natural ingredients as baking soda and water).

7. When transplanting, water thoroughly and firm the soil around plants to squeeze out air from around the roots. The rule of thumb (green or otherwise) when designing large planter arrangements is to have large plants in the center, bushy plants surrounding them, and cascading plants along the rim. Religiously remove deadheads from your flowering plants to encourage new blossoms.

When your gardening goes to pot, that's a good thing. Have fun!

About the Author:

Scott Gray is currently a garden enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing tips to consumers who are in the market for all types of garden planters.

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Date Added: Thursday 5th June 2008

"I need to know in home organic fertalizer recipe...I only have sand to grow things in...also can I add styrofoam for extra moisture for plants"