Your landscape designs depend on the size of your property. If you have little or almost no garden space, then building a container garden would be ideal for you. Container gardens add versatility to gardens no matter the size, yet most practical for small spaces. It also adds ambiance and color to your outdoor porch or any sitting areas. Plants add color to your garden, creating a focal point in your space.

You can place a container on the ground, on a pedestal or a windowsill, or hang them from your porch. You can also add summer plants for your container gardening. Hanging baskets and window boxes are also some of the ways in adding instant color and appeal. You can even have unlimited possible combinations if you mix plants in a container.

Let's start your container garden by knowing these details.

container gardens

Container Sizes and Drainage Details

It's easier to grow plants in large containers than in small ones. Large containers can hold more soil, which lets plants stay moist longer and resist temperature change. Small hanging baskets are prone to drying out faster since they cannot store enough water to get through the hot season. The maximum size and weight of a container depend on your room's size, its supporter, or whether or not you plan to move it.

You may also need to consider the size and shape of the plant's root and how fast it grows. For example, root-bound plants can fill up every square inch of soil available in a container, drying out quicker, making the plant not grow well. Light-colored containers keep the soil cooler, unlike dark ones. Black pots, when placed under the sun, can absorb heat that can destroy your plant.

Drainage is also essential in container gardening. If holes are not large enough, the soil will become waterlogged, and the plants may die. Containers must be large enough to remove excess water. Adding 1 inch of coarse gravel in the bottom can improve its drainage.

Selecting Container Elements

Containers are either made from clay, concrete, plastic, glass, foam, or wood. Either way has effects and advantages.

Clay or terracotta containers break and can be damaged easily yet remain attractive. They are prone to heat, so they require frequent watering.

Concrete, on the other hand, is long-lasting and varies in sizes and styles. Plain concrete containers are heavy. They are not suitable for decks and balconies, since they are heavy to move around. Concrete mixed with vermiculite, or fiberglass blends are lighter.

Plastic and glass-made containers are inexpensive and lightweight. They retain moisture better and will not dry out faster.

Containers made from foam weigh less than clay, and they can resist cracking and may be able to insulate roots in any weather conditions. Foam is an excellent choice of container component if you want to pot plants outside.

Wood is natural, making it rot-resistant, yet can still protect roots from rapid temperature changes. It is also inexpensive and sturdy.

Almost anything can turn into a container. You can even recycle any container found in your home. Barrels, buckets, baskets, boxes, or anything that holds soil can serve as your container.

Selecting Container Soil 

Soil is a vital component in container gardening. Plain soil is dense, so pre-moistening it through watering, or flooding the container is the best practice. Large containers should use relatively coarse soil-less planting mixture to maintain water and air balance is needed. Containers less than and up to 1 gallon in size should use houseplant soil mixture. Be sure to moisten the soil before planting and leave space at the top for watering.

Selecting Plants for your Container

The last phase for container gardens is to choose what plant you should put in your container. Selecting the plant that suits the climate and amount of sun and shade is crucial. Flowers, vegetables, or green plants can be a great option. Almost any vegetable, flower, herb or shrub can grow successfully in a container.

If you want to have an attractive aesthetic in your space, flowers are the right option. Flowers are perfect, especially during summer. In this case, you need to look for warm weather flowers that can bloom all summer. Some good choices are geraniums, marigolds, wax begonias, and scarlet sage. Perennials such as hostas and daylilies, ferns like lavender, sedums, and sedges, dwarf conifers, small shrubs, and ornamental grasses can work as well. You may also find more choices in seed catalogs and garden centers. You can also use your imagination to combine flowers for a pleasing and colorful effect and choose vibrant flower pots to add to your color scheme.

If you prefer an attractive and healthy garden, then planting vegetables for your container is the answer. Large pots to 5-gallon buckets can accommodate tomato plants or smaller vegetables such as broccoli or cabbage. Aside from these vegetables, you can also plant pumpkins and winter squashes in their bush form to suit in small containers. A salad garden made up of lettuce, chives, and parsley is also a great idea.

In practice, container gardens are more practical than planting in the ground. This practice allows you to include edible plants in your backyard or home. Additionally, it eliminates weed problems, and you have control over sunlight, temperature, and moisture.

At Stumptown Style, we're proud of the container gardens we've built and installed. Please check out our gallery of work we've done, or you can schedule a free 15 minute design consultation to bring your ideas to reality.