Many gardeners have given up on the idea of a garden because they lack space, time or lots of experience. But if growing plants is an interest of yours container gardening could be your answer. Container gardens will allow you to enjoy “playing in the dirt” without investing a lot of time or money. You can get very creative in container gardening using vegetables, decorative grasses or flowers and herbs. You can plant a container garden with any plant that would grow outside. The trick is to come up with some creative ideas for your container garden.
You should do some research at your local nursery or on the internet to choose the plants you wish to grow to help you come up with some ideas. Try to use plants that complement each other and have the same basic needs for water, air and light.
A container garden idea that has taken off recently is the landscape container. Some people plant a simple evergreen tree in a container with good drainage to place at their front door. Or you could plant an assortment of flowers for a bright and beautiful vista. If you do plant flowers, add plants that spill over the sides of the container to add more visuals and interest. What ever container gardening idea you can come up with can be placed on a deck, patio, and balcony or by the front doors. Put them somewhere that your family and friends can enjoy.
You can grow vegetables in containers but choose wisely. Vegetables like squash and pole beans need lots of space, while tomatoes need a deep pot. When you grow your own vegetables you will have tasty produce not the bland stuff that is in the grocery store. Nothing tastes better than a tomato right off the vine. There are many chefs and good home cooks that grow their own for just this reason. Don’t forget to pot some herbs, they are pretty plants and add zest to your meals.
But don’t just stick to vegetables and herbs; why not add fruit trees too? Instead of using an evergreen tree, pot a fruit tree instead. There are many dwarf varieties available that work best in pots since with pots there is less soil therefore less nutrients to draw from. If you live in a year round warm climate citrus trees are perfect. In other regions, stick to pear, apple and cherry trees. Another good container gardening idea is to grow strawberries. With strawberries climate does not matter since you can bring the container inside. Fresh strawberries are amazingly sweet and delicious. Imagine how good a bowl of fresh strawberries will be, strawberries that you have just picked.
Remember that container gardens dry out more quickly than traditional gardens. Be diligent about watering your plants if you don’t want your container gardening ideas to wither and die. Container gardens must be fertilized too. Keep a small notebook handy so you can write down the needs of your plant so you will always know when to water or feed. Keep an eye out for pests. If you find a container that has an infestation, isolate it immediately and treat it with a natural pesticide. You don’t want harsh chemicals on fruits, vegetables or herbs. A good natural pesticide recipe is:
In a jar, combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake vigorously. In an empty spray bottle, combine 2 teaspoons of this mixture and 1 cup water. Use at ten-day intervals (or more often if needed) to rid plants of whiteflies, mites, aphids, scales, and other pests.
So, do some research, come up with your own unique container gardening ideas, gather your materials and get to work. The fruits of your labor will be amazing.
Happy Container Gardening!
Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
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Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at Gardening Landscaping Tips.