By: Janeth Duque
One of the most effective ways to save money in your landscape is to engage in the practice of container gardening. Container gardening is making use of different containers to hold your plants. These work for flowers, herbs, and even for vegetables. Container garden requires less maintenance than more conventional flowerbeds and gardens because there is less amendment to the soil and because there are fewer weed problems. Additionally, the costs associated with preparing an area for planting can be avoided when one uses carefully considered containers and planters for their landscaping.
One of the great things about container gardening is the wide variety of items that can be used as containers. Many of the items can be found around the house or even purchased from thrift stores. Old washtubs, and even filing cabinets laid on their sides and removed of their drawers (which can also be used as containers) make great containers. You can even cut the tops off of milk cartons and use the bottom sections as planters. These everyday items can be attractively decorated to look nice.
In addition to converting things like coffee cans and old shoes into fun and cute flower and herb holders, there are plenty of more traditional planters and containers that can be incorporated into an attractive landscape design. Clay pots and large urns make attractive holders, and the urns can even be used to hold vegetables. Additionally, container gardening is not limited to the ground. Hanging baskets bought at the store make excellent additions to any landscape. Plus, they can be hanged from the house, the porch, and even from tree branches and along fences. These baskets create little bursts of color no matter where they are. Window boxes are also attractive variations on container gardening and can add a great deal to the look of a home.
Containers make great accents as well as being practical and money saving. They can be just as beautiful to look at as the rest of the landscape design elements. Indeed, container gardening is a great way to enjoy the benefits of having a garden without as much backbreaking labor. Weeds cannot work their way into the containers, and if you have the right depth of container it is possible to have very healthy plants with strong roots, making them resistant to disease and pests. Additionally, flowers in containers are well protected from cutworms and from rodents who may burrow into the root system. Containers are excellent sources of protection for many plants.
In order to ensure that your container-based landscape is a success, it is important that you make sure that your plants do not need an extensive root system. Most flowers, even perennials, are fine in most containers. Even many vegetables are fine in coffee tins and washtubs. Corn can easily be planted in the filing cabinet lying down, and most drawers are plenty deep for tomatoes. Lettuce is a vegetable with a fairly shallow root system, and peppers have requirements that are very easy to meet with containers. Make sure, before planting, that your container is adequate for the needs of your plants. Herbs, of course, can thrive in just about any size of container, and many of them can even be grown inside the house (near a sunny window, of course).
Fill the containers with potting soil or garden soil. These soils are rich in nutrients and can provide your plants with the food they need. It is even possible to mix in a little organic compost for added nutrition. You will need to water your plants occasionally, but because your plants are enclosed in the container, there is no need to water them as often as plants in the ground. This is because the container will help retain moisture, and there is no drainage. Rather, you need to be careful not to over water your container garden.
Making use of a container garden is a great way to save time and money in your landscaping. It is also a creative way to display your plants and even to grow your food. And, if you have a small amount of space, container gardening can allow you to have a variety of plants that you might not otherwise have room for.
This article was posted on January 06, 2006
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