Container Gardening

Hypertufa Ball by Geek2Nurse

Growing plants in containers is popular for all sorts of reasons:

1) you have little available space to make a garden

2) you are elderly or handicapped so it is difficult to garden in a garden

3) the sun or shade on your property may not be where you are able to plant in the ground

4) you want to bring the plant in during the winter season

5) containers are just plain attractive and add another dimension to your garden

Where should one begin with container gardening? Collecting containers is a start. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get containers; but if you have a fortune- you certainly can find containers at all prices.

Take a pottery or ceramic course to make your own containers (see here). Or buy clay or plastic pots and other items and decorate them yourself. Go to flea markets or stores and buy pots. Go to farm supply stores or nurseries. Some nurseries even have a bin where they discard perfectly good, useable pots that you can take for no charge. Use old pots or pans from your kitchen. Dumpster dive and reclaim stuff some foolish person discarded. Use your child’s unused little red wagon or anything around the house that will hold a plant and you no longer use if for its original use. One lady’s garden had some unusual hanging baskets filled with succulents. On closer inspection the containers turned out to be old bed pans. Creativity is the name of container collecting. You can use the item as is or cover the exterior with something to change or hide its original purpose.

If you are really ambitious, you can build your own hypertufa or stone look-alike troughs. These hypertufa troughs look like heavy stone but are much lighter because they are made of sand or perlite, peatmoss and cement.  Hypertufa troughs are one of the most popular types of containers in gardens these days. Many gardens, like the New York Botanical Garden, uses hypertufa troughs for small alpine type plants. Gardeners love them. (You might be able to make some money selling them to friends or garden nurseries if you enjoy making them.) (See here or here)

There are different types of containers depending on where you want to put the plants. An interesting flower container is the strawberry pot another is a pyramid planter or a vertical planter. Container gardening is another artistic extension of gardening. (Remember, I said the wealthy can find some really cool flower pots? Check out these LED lighted flower pots – here.

Remember containers that plants are grown in have to have a drainage hole in the bottom for water to drain. Unless you are making a water garden, most plants don’t like to sit in water, they want good drainage. If you find a container that has no hole in the bottom and you cannot put a hole in the pot, you will have to use the pot as a cache pot. A cache pot is an ornamental container for holding a flower pot.. The flower pot needs the hole. So collect both types of containers.

More posts will come on filling the pot with soil and plants. Container gardening can be exciting.


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