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Container Gardens

Everybody can grow flowers and vegetables. Yes, we mean everybody. No matter where you live, no matter how small your space. For people with little space for their favorite plants, container gardening is the answer. You can grow almost anything in a container garden. Small and compact, you can put a container on your balcony or deck, or in a sunny window. Think two dimensional. A container garden does not have to sit on the patio or deck. Many people hang containers from a ceiling or against a wall. This is called "vertical gardening".

Imagination is the key to successful container gardens. First imagine what kind of plants you want to grow. Second, imagine the type of planters or containers. Then, imagine the bountiful harvest of flowers and/or vegetables that you will enjoy, because it is certainly within your reach.

Selecting the right plants:

The right plants are the ones you select to grow. They can be flowers, vegetables or even small bushes. While most people traditionally think of small plants, if you really want to grow a particular plant, give it a try. Very few plants are not suited for container gardens. Corn for example, may make an unsuitable vegetable, as it takes numerous plants to properly pollinate the ears. But, most others are just fine. Even vining plants can be used. Some people grow pumpkins and squash in containers from their deck. The vines are allowed to hang down the deck or sprawl across the floor. One woman I know just had to grow pumpkins. She planted them in an old kiddie pool...on top of her apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles!

Types of Containers or Planters:

There is virtually no limit to the type of container you can use. And, here is where the fun and your creativity begins. Use your creative side, and find some container suitable to your tastes and decor. Buckets, barrels, watering cans, vats, to name just a few. If it holds soil, it can probably be your container!

Size is also important. If you are selecting larger plants, then a large container is required. Many plants do not like to be root bound, so make sure to provide ample size. Depth and width of the container is equally important as roots spread out and down from the stem.

More on Garden Planters and Containers

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How to Grow Plants in Container Gardens:

Container plants dry out easily. Make sure to check them. They may require water daily. The smaller the container, the more frequent the watering. If you are going away, have a neighbor check them.

Avoid overcrowding your plants. The limited space, means limited water and nutrients.

Containers need to have proper drainage. The container you use, needs to have holes in the bottom for drainage. Plants roots will rot in overly wet or water-logged soil. Usually, three or four holes will do.

Add fertilizer regularly. Frequent watering will wash out important nutrients. Try slow release fertilizers.

Rotate your containers in a circular motion every couple of days to provide even sunlight to all the plants in the container.

If your plant becomes too big for it's container, consider repotting. This may not be practical for seasonal plants and annuals. However, it may be a necessity, for container grown shrubs and perennials. More on repotting plants.

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