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Desert Landscape Designs: How To Start A Container Garden

Updated on July 15, 2010

The Beginning Of Container Gardening & Its Resurgence

Container gardening is one of the easiest and most flexible ways to garden, and the tradition goes back much further than you might think. The Egyptians and Romans are believed to be responsible for inventing the first ceramic flower pots. These pots were used very closely to the way we use them today.

Container gardening made a huge comeback in the 1950s in and around southern California areas, and today it is still hugely popular. Smaller sized houses with smaller yards, as well as the increase in apartment living, are two of the reasons associated with the increased popularity of container gardening as of late.

Expanding Desert Landscape Designs With Container Gardens

Container gardening is one of the best ways to bring plant life into homes and apartments because they work well in areas that have space limitations. Container gardens are also great in Phoenix landscape designs because they open up a world of planting options. With desert landscape designs you can use terra cotta pots to grow plants that would not normally grow in a desert climate. The terra cotta is perfect for hot weather, plus container gardens are mobile so you can move them in and out of sunlight as you wish.

Beginning your own container garden is super easy. If you follow these simple steps, you can set up your own container gardens in just a few hours.

5 Steps To Starting A Container Garden

1st: Choosing A Plant & A Container

  • Landscape designers suggest that you match up your plant with your container, or your container with your plant. I suggest choosing the plant you want first and then matching it with a container. Check the label on the plant for specific planting instructions that might determine which type of pot to use.
  • Find a pot that suits your plant based on its planting instructions and on its size. Just about anything that can hold soil and that has a few holes at the bottom for drainage can be used as a container. You can get creative with your containers and use old objects that you might have around your home.
  • If it is a larger plant then it should have a larger pot. With vegetables, it is recommended that you start out with a larger pot. As a matter of fact, when you are growing vegetables in container gardens, the larger the pot the better.

2nd: Choosing A Potting Soil

  • Once you have a container and plant, you can move on to choosing your soil. With container gardens, you should not use garden soil. It is best to use a really good potting soil that can both retain moisture and drain well. A moisture controlled or organic potting soil would be preferable.

3rd: Choosing A Fertilizer

  • Some potting soil mixtures have fertilizer in them and some do not. If yours does not, remember that your plants will not be able to spread their roots and look for nutrients within a container garden environment. It is important for you to make sure the soil is filled with the proper nutrients and to replenish those nutrients often.
  • You can use a slow release fertilizer or you can just make sure to add fertilizer regularly. Again, an organic fertilizer is preferable.
  • If you have added container gardens to your desert landscape designs with plants that are not used to the heat, then it is especially important to make sure they are well fertilized.

4th: Potting Your Plants

  • Next, you will start the planting process. Begin by filling your pot half way with your potting soil and fertilizer mixture.
  • Then gently remove your plant from its pot, unless the pot is biodegradable.
  • Loosen the root area of the plant with your fingers. This will help stimulate root growth for your plants.
  • Once the plant is inside of your container, fill the rest of the pot up with soil. Make sure to read the label on your plant to see what level you should fill the potting soil to.
  • Always make sure to leave at least one inch of room at the top of your pot. This will ensure that there is enough area for water to pool.

5th: Watering

  • You will need to water your plants daily. They should get about 1 inch of water a week.
  • Be sure that you do not water the actual plants themselves, but rather water the soil. This is especially important with vegetable container gardens because vegetables are susceptible to fungal diseases that develop when the plant leaves and stems stay wet for too long.

Desert Landscape Designs

Desert Container Gardening
When it comes to desert container gardening there is one vital thing you must do differently. Soil mixtures are incredibly important when container gardening and in desert container gardens there are a few ingredients that you must add.

Soil Mixture

When adding container gardens to Phoenix landscape designs, you should not use potting soil right out of the bag. This works in many other areas, but in the desert it is not advisable because of water-retention issues. It is best to use a mixture of pumice, potting soil, and peat moss or compost. You should use about a third of each in your mixture. Remember to soak your peat moss in water overnight before adding it to the mix. This particular mixture is best in desert landscape designs because peat moss retains moisture well and pumice creates little spaces in the soil for good air flow.

Skip Phoenix Remodeling & Container Garden Instead

Indoor Container Gardens
Many people use container gardens when they want to add more color to space limited Phoenix landscape designs or when they want to add some plant life to apartment balconies. But you can also use container gardens to bring plant life inside of your home. Instead of doing Phoenix home remodeling projects, you can easily give your home a new and fresh look by adding some beautiful container gardens to the inside of your home. You can add potted trees and various other plants that do not need much direct sunlight. You can also add container gardens full of delicious herbs to the inside of your kitchen windows. This way you will always have fresh herbs right on hand.

Indoor container gardening is much cheaper than doing Phoenix remodeling, and it yields really brilliant results. Follow these tips for making sure your indoor garden thrives.

5 Tips For Maintaining Indoor Plants

  • Only water indoor plants when necessary. You don't want to water them too much or too little. Stick your finger about 2 inches into the soil. If it is dry, then it is time to water.
  • Maintain an even temperature in your home for your plants.
  • If your plants require a high amount of humidity, place them in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Try to place your plants in a position where they will receive about 6 hours of indirect sunlight.
  • When your plants become too large for their pots, carefully repot them. Be gentle with the root system of the plant. After re-potting, most plants look unhealthy for a few days until they get used to their new environment.


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    • Lovely  C profile image

      lavenderLove 2 years ago from Philippines really love gardening.. I do gardening too..but mostly outdoors..we are blessed with a very rich potting soil here in the Philippines..