If you are considering creating a container garden in outdoor planters for any area around your home, or if you have extra seeds, but have run out of space in your outdoor and greenhouse gardens, it's time to learn a little more about container gardening in garden planters. Container gardening is an easy and rewarding way to indulge your greenthumb!
You can place your garden planters anywhere on a patio, balcony, porch, garden path or even on the lawn, as long as you plant the right type of plants for the location.
What kind of containers should you buy? The best outdoor planters are ones that you can put at least six to eight inches of dirt into, so your plants will have ample room to thrive and grow. When plants are root-bound they will die off. Root-bound simply means that the plant has too many roots for the container or the space in which they are growing. Containers also require adequate holes to allow proper drainage. The most common problem with plants in containers is inadequate drainage.
When you are planting flowers, herbs, shrubs, or trees for your container garden, place a couple handfuls of rocks, pebbles, charcoal or styrofoam 'peanuts' in the bottom, to allow the water to drain through the soil in without washing the soil out of the drainage hole. Continue to fill the planter with your favorite soil mixture for planters, then add your plants or seeds. Water the seeds or plants when you first plant them, and then only as needed if it doesn't rain on your container garden.
When using garden planters to fill spaces around your home, you will notice that they require more frequent watering than your in-ground garden. Some types of planters, particularly clay or terracotta planters, and dark-colored pots will dry out much faster than others. Paying a little extra attention to watering will ensure your container garden thrives. You might also consider self watering planters to ease the watering chores.
What type of soil to use in a container garden? Using a mixture of light sand, vermiculite, potting soil, peat moss or mulch will create just right soil needed for your plants to thrive. Often the soil in a container garden can get very 'hard' because of the sun baking it when there is not enough water and this will choke out your garden. Never use soil from your garden as it will harden in planters and may contain pests or diseases.
What type of plants can you grow? Most plants can be grown in garden planters. The key is to make sure the plant is chosen to match the growing conditions of its intended location. Also, properly matching the size of the plant or plants to te size of planter is equally important.
Be adventurous in your choice of plants for your garden planters. Each year nurseries feature new varieties and new colors for you to experiment with. It's a great idea to keep a journal each year to record your favorites, your successful choices and choices that might not have been as successful. Gardening journals can be found in most bookstores, or software is also available to create a 'digital garden journal.' Every year there is something new to learn about container gardening!