Container Gardening Inside and In the Garden.

Growing plants in containers can be for a number of reasons, be it for climatic reasons, available space, or for aesthetic considerations.

Sometimes certain climates preclude the growing of plants year round and container gardening is the only alternative. This affords the option of growing outside, until such time as the cold forces the container being brought inside, next to a sunny window, or into a purpose built sun-room. For those preferring a changing scenery, plants in containers are an easy way to achieve this, by merely moving the pots from place to place, until the desired effect is achieved.

Container gardening has become all the more popular with the increase of people living in apartments. It’s always a pleasure to have a colorful, living thing in an apartment, that requires little maintenance and gives beauty in return. Those in apartments, or flats, lucky enough to have a balcony, of any size, have the added advantage of being able to grow a greater choice of plants, including vegetables and or herbs, in containers.

The addition of containers in the garden allows you a changing vista, placing pots of color around green shrubs, or trees to brighten dull corners of your yard. This a great way of displaying flowering bulbs, too. As they come into flower, bring them close to the entertainment areas, or windows, to be able to appreciate them more easily.

Geraniums, are the classic pot-plant. These plants will generally have vibrant flowers most of the year – continuously. Growing flowering annuals is a great idea for quick, short lived colour inside. If you were to grow pots of chrysanthemums, or marigolds, then as they flower, bring them inside and replace with another pot as each one becomes spent, or a little raggedy.

Plant-pots, or containers, are a huge business and most garden centres, have large areas dedicated to the enormous variety available, from concrete to ceramic pots. However, you don’t have to go to any great expense for plant containers, as just about anything that will hold soil can be used. If you have an old worn out wheel-barrow, or discarded packing crates, hollow logs are suitable, large chipped crockery, a bucket or pail, even old boots – all are suitable as planting containers provided they can hold soil AND will drain excess water. The classic is of course, old wine barrels. If the recycled container you have chosen is a little too far gone, like a wheel-barrow having too many holes, this can be remedied by lining the bottom with several layers of paper-bark, as you would do with a wire hanging basket.

Always use top quality potting mix for container gardening, as nutrients tend to leech out from containers. I would also add some water retaining crystals, as pots and containers do tend to dry out faster than the soil in a garden. Watering and feeding need to be done more often for this reason.

If you have planted perennials, like agapanthus, or similar in your containers, they will need periodical re-potting, as the plants will become over-crowded in time. When this is the case, divide the plants into manageable pieces, re-pot the ones from the outsides of the original clumps, and the plant material remaining can be either put into new containers, or planted out into the garden. If the plants are not the dividing type, then re-pot them into larger containers.

For moving the larger pots, there are available pot-trolleys, that sit under the pot with wheels – having wheels means you can just push the container to where it is desired, this is an excellent option for patios and the like. Your living space is always interesting, using container gardening inside and in the garden.

Written by chris meagher

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