Container Gardening for All Seasons

Container Gardening has always had a place in the hearts of gardeners. From the traditional pot of red geraniums to the lure of exotic tropical plants, container gardening offers something for everyone. There is no other form of gardening that offers us so much versatility. Whether you live in the country, the city, or somewhere in between, there is always room for a container garden. In the countryside a house is not a home without garden. Container gardening provides the pursuit of gardening where space is limited. In the city those without make do with pots, window boxes, planters and pots. A window sill, a patio, a balcony or a doorstep will provide sufficient space for a productive mini garden. Container gardening is just as rewarding as having a full size garden. Many plants grow in pots just as well as they do in the ground.

For Spring, use layered planting in container gardening, to make the most of a small space such as window boxes or flower pots. Plant bulbs in layers, one bulb on top of the other. All bulbs should be planted at the proper depth, which is three times their height. Place large bulbs like daffodils and large alliums at the bottom, position and cover with soil. Next place medium sized such as hyacinths and tulips, right on top, cover with soil. Place smaller bulbs such as crocuses, grape hyacinths and snowdrops over the first two layers. Fill with soil, firm down gently and water well. Don’t worry about whether the bulbs are on top of one another- they will find their way to the sunlight. This will give you a constant bloom and spring color.

You can excel in the art of container gardening by filling all manner of planters and window boxes. A wide range of good quality plants is available to every gardener all the year round, so that no corner ever be overlooked or dull. There is no rule restricting you to plastic or earthenware flower pots, anything will do and coupled with mobility make container gardening fun and creative.

How to Start an Easy Basic Garden (Urban Gardening)

For Summer a simple flower pot of purple pansies looks fresh and effective. A galvanized old tub container garden filled with golden wallflowers and buttery pansies makes a unique container garden. Potted ferns and hostas can create great backdrops for a planter crammed full of scarlet, rose and salmon amaryllis, golden forsythia and pussy willow branches. Forget–me–nots placed with yellow tulips make a pretty still life. Small ornamental trees can be containerized and planted with complimentary colored flowers. A large basket filled with sweet peas; a geranium and chives will brighten up a corner and give you fresh chives as well.

Fill all manner of pots, planters and window boxes to the brim and place them in every nook and cranny available for your container gardening. Marguerites and snapdragons, blue Anagallis, Felicia and Helichrysum make a stunning window box. A trough of easy to grow alpines of Pink white saxifrage alpine phlox white rock rose and papaver alpinum A trough like this will last a couple of years before it needs transplanting. Flower boxes filled with lavenders and Salvia are highly aromatic for late summer. Place near a door or path, so you can enjoy them.

For Autumn, container gardening using marigolds, chysanthemums and cape figwort Rudbeckia, and Asters will add color to your fall flower pots or window boxes. Convolvulus cneorum is an attractive small shrub with eye-catching silver grey leaves which lasts through winter. It has white flowers in spring and summer. Planted with ice blue pansies, it makes a subtle display from autumn to spring.

For Winter an evergreen window box planted with a miniature conifer, ivy and polyanthus or winter pansies or kale spruce up the winter season. Designing a container garden for all seasons can be very rewarding.

You can truly have an interesting year round garden no matter where you live!

The Harvest

This is my favorite part picking fresh herbs, crispy radishes, and tender string beans just a few paces away. Container gardening has many advantages, including easy accessibility, efficient use of space, and perhaps most important of all this time of year, fresh produce as winter winds howl and holiday lights twinkle outside.

Tips for Container Gardening

1. Choosing the right plant: You won’t have to spend as much time caring for your plants if you choose plants that are suited to your environmental conditions and gardening style.
2. Watering: Test the soil in your containers every day with your finger. If it’s dry an inch below the surface – water. If you can’t water your plants on a regular basis, consider self-watering containers.
3. Fertilizing: Mix a dry, time-release fertilizer into the soil when planting, and use small amounts of liquid fertilizer for regular feeding every few weeks.
4. Fighting Pests: Inspect plants regularly for fungus, insects, bugs, etc. Remove any diseased or dying leaves. Spray insects with water or other natural repellents to get rid of them.
5. Pruning: Don’t be afraid to cut or trim plants to keep their shape and encourage growth – just leave at least 2/3 of the original plant intact so it’ll have enough surface area to absorb sunlight. Pinch faded flowers regularly to encourage more blooms on annual plants.

Keep in mind that every plant is different. Take some time to read up on your plants and learn as much as you can about their individual needs. A little time spent reading and planning now can save you a lot of time and disappointment later. Enjoy your fresh and healthful container-grown vegetables in your own small piece of paradise.