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Gardening in Containers

Updated on July 15, 2011

Gardening in Containers – Choosing Your Containers

For container gardening, the types of material you choose for your containers will be influenced by your location and budget as much as your preferred style. Choose a long-lasting, frost-proof material whenever possible. Something to bear in mind is the empty weight of the container, a heavy stone pot may be perfect for a permanent position on a ground level patio but totally unsuitable for a deck or balcony.

In most cases you will need to put the planter in position before filling it with soil or compost and plants, as they will significantly increase the overall weight. This is especially important if you are using planters on a balcony or other weight sensitive areas.

Are you looking to introduce some instant height into an area of your garden? If so, you may want to consider multi-level planters, arches, tall posts, wall mounted containers and hanging baskets or ground planters with climbing structures. Each type of container will form a different shape and require a different kind of planting.

Image by SDCDeaCerte
Image by SDCDeaCerte

Your Container Garden

How large a space do you want the container garden to cover? Would one or two large containers be enough…or would a group of smaller ones look better? A large planter will dry out more slowly and can hold bigger plants, but you may achieve more variety with several smaller pots in complementary designs, perhaps at differing heights.

How important to you is ease of maintenance? If you are often away from home, if you live in an arid district or if water access is limited, larger containers in non-porous materials are probably the answer. Most container plants will need watering at least once a day in summer and feeding once a week.

Would you prefer a mobile form of container garden, where you can move the planters around? Or do you want to make a permanent statement, with stability a key issue? If you want to move your containers regularly they will either have to be relatively small and lightweight or you can place your planters on purpose made platforms with wheels for ease of movement.

Image by shutterbug_zzz
Image by shutterbug_zzz

Your Climate and Container Gardening

What kind of weather do you get in your garden? Most container plants require at least five hours of sunshine each day. If your site is very windy or bathed in very hot sunshine all day, you may need to build some form of screening to protect delicate plants, or choose your plants accordingly. If you live in a colder climate, you may need to choose more mobile planters to bring pots under cover during the winter months. On the other hand, if you live in a hot climate, consider using light colored containers to lessen heat absorption.

Some other things you can do to decrease watering are to use a special water retentive compost. This contains granules that soak up the water and then release it slowly back into the soil. Plus when you have finished planting you can place a layer of stones or decorative chippings around your plants to stop them drying out so quickly.

Growing Vegetables in Containers

Image by Sbocaj
Image by Sbocaj

Elegant Cast Stone French Vase Planter

The Cast Stone French Vase Planter is made with the highest quality ingredients and is hand cast in the USA. The dry cast mix design includes real crushed stone acrylic additives stainless steel cable and tiny chopped glass fibers for increased strength and durability in any climate. The planter is available in your choice of finish Limestone Pewter Cream and Terra Cotta.

23 Inch Cast Stone French Vase Planter

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