Any Weed in a Tub is a Container Garden

Container gardening is one of those nonsensical phrases that have developed yet lack any real meaning or clarity. What’s a container?

It’s often one of those huge metal boxes that are used to transport any manner of goods on board a ship and probably wouldn’t make much sense to garden in. I guess the phrase developed as gardeners displayed more and more of the creativity that we are known for and started growing any manner of plants in a wide variety of things that could no longer be called ‘flower pots.’ The dictionary simply defines container as, a box, cylinder, or similar object for holding something. Pretty basic and open to interpretation. I have seen the back of an old pick up truck filled with soil and Petunias and I guess that’s container gardening.

Begonias in a Hanging basket

Is a Hanging Basket a Container? For most of us the original Terra-Cotta pot, available from 1" to huge, is the container garden that we are most familiar with. Any manner of plastic, fibre, wooden or whatever, containers are now widely used to grow an infinite number and variety of plants. The reasons for growing things in containers are as varied as the containers themselves. There is a huge market in hanging baskets, made of a variety of materials, that are used to decorate our homes and to get the plants they contain up where they are more visible. As our cities get bigger and the space we each have to garden in gets smaller the hanging of baskets from our porches and patios allows us to have splashes of colour in those smaller spaces and allows even the high-rise dweller the opportunity to spend some time Dallying in the Dirt.

What's In a Container

Containers of many sizes and types allow those high-rise dwellers to turn a small balcony into quite an amazing container garden. Small trees, a myriad of flowers and quite a few vegetables thrive in appropriate planters a considerable distance above any earth bound gardening space.

A collection of kitchen herbs on the balcony can keep the high-rise cook happily creating tasty dishes through out the growing season.

impatiens container Where Can I Have Them? Even those of us who live at ground level and have significant gardens, find a wide variety of uses for container gardening. The wide front steps at our home become a walk in the garden for our visitors ad they wander between the pots of geraniums on their way to the front door. The half walls around the porch are made a little taller, more privacy creating and colourful by topping them with containers of shade tolerant annual flowers. The shaded back deck is the perfect spot for the large flowered Tuberous Begonias.

Peppers, container of hot peppers

What Can I Grow?. The kitchen door steps have an assortment of herbs at the ready for the cook and a few vegetables in pots to save the mad dash to the garden when the stir fried veggies need a bit more zip. The barren expanse of an old garage wall is brought to life with a display of trailing annuals in large rectangular container gardens. The outdoor living room, (that’s the new ‘in’ word for our deck/patio,) has supports posts around its perimeter to hold up the lattice work surround and those posts each sport a container with colourful annuals tumbling from them to brighten up the room.

What's A Container! There is absolutely no limit to what kind of container can be turned into a planter and what manner of plants may be grown in them. If the right type and quantity of soil is provided and there is a manual or automatic watering regimen established that meets the needs of each container’s plants, then let your mind run amok. There are even container gardens that dont use much water. It’s amazing what beauty can be created out of an old rubber boot and few nasturtiums seeds.

Earthboxes are a commercial self contained growing system that provides water and nutrients for all the plants in the container. They work quite well and if you are a bit handy and want to save a bit of money here's how I build my own

It's Winter! How do I store my containers for the winter and do I need new soil in the spring?

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