Reuse (upcycle) items that you’d ordinarily throw away when they’re empty or perhaps broken:
Think of the items you use to hold stuff elsewhere in your home—if you have extra bins, boxes or buckets, repurpose in the garden. Even things like rubber rain boots that your kids have outgrown make cute planters.
Over- or under-watering is the No. 1 cause of plant failure—and growing in containers exacerbates the problem. Plants must never sit in accumulated water. If you’re using alternative containers, make sure there’s ample drainage. This can be a real challenge if, for example, you’re using an old enamel washbasin, glass jar or china soup tureen. If possible, drill or punch several holes in the bottom of your container. If drilling holes in the container doesn’t seem like such a good idea, then place nursery pots inside the planter (instead of planting directly in it) and be sure to pour out the excess every time you water.
Follow these links for how-tos on drilling in porcelain, glass and metal.
Use these proven techniques to properly water a plants growing in containers:
Choose a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer that you can add to your watering can. For continuous feeding to produce steady growth and bloom, mix at 1/10th the recommended rate every time you water.
Once you have your plants, location, and containers, the sky's the limit! Start out small with easy-to-grow plants and build from there. Soon, you'll have a new hobby that brings you joy as well as good health. Happy container gardening!
Joyce, David. The Complete Container Gardening. London: Frances Lincoln Limited, 2003.
McGee, Rose Marie, and Maggie Stuckey. The Bountiful Container. New York: Workman Publishing, 2002.
A Beginner's Guide to Container Vegetable Gardening
A Versatile Way to Grow Your Favorite Plants
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