1. Container gardening provides a baby step for the beginning gardener.
With a planter being raised off the ground, issues such as weeds and certain pests are minimized. And starting with a few easy-to-grow plants helps the new gardener learn about paying attention to sunlight needs, indoor or outdoor temperature requirements, and soil moisture control. With a self-watering planter, like Crescent Garden’s TruDrop Crescent Garden’s TruDrop the guesswork of when to water is taken out of the picture. As the gardeners gain success and knowledge with one or two planters, they so often seize the opportunity to grow a little more.
2. Container gardening allows gardeners/landscapers/parks/municipalities to plant anywhere.
Container gardening can be used to create an entire landscape. Most often, though, the use of containers is more supplementary. Container plantings can be used to define an area, creating an intimate garden room in the landscape, or to outline the sitting area of an outdoor café.
Container gardening can also be used as a privacy shield. If you like to entertain on your balcony or patio but don’t want everyone walking past to have a clear view of your great party, use planters hanging from your balcony railing with tall Angelonia or Coleus and cascades of petunia or Mandevilla to obscure the line of sight. Planters filled with evergreens, a Japanese maple, or those lemon trees that you bring indoors every winter also serve as lovely screening on a porch or patio, without being too obvious that you really don’t want everyone seeing you drink your morning coffee. Even window boxes planted with tall annuals can screen the view inside when you want to open the windows to enjoy the evening air.
Fill up big empty wall space along city streets with rectangular planters planted with columnar evergreens or an assortment of coordinating narrow planters pillowing with ‘Kimberly Queen’ ferns or upright Cordyline underplanted with annual flowers. Hang window boxes filled with color or foliage plants along an empty fence that you see out your living room window. Use planters in townhomes with tiny little patio courtyards to hide air-conditioning units or electrical boxes or their neighbor’s latest craft project.
3. Container gardening brings architectural interest to the landscape.
You can save a little on landscaping costs by using container plantings to elevate a young specimen tree that might get missed in the landscape. Once it has reached a more visible height, you can then plant it in the ground. Window boxes and planters also help to bring the eye up and draw attention to decorative shutters or ironwork, to guide the eye down a pathway, or to create structural diversity in a parterre garden or in a vista of monoculture plantings. Use containers to introduce plants into your landscape that would not naturally co-exist with the surrounding plants such as creating a water garden in the middle of drought-loving sedums and evergreens.
4. Self-watering container gardens simplify maintenance (and lower water usage and labor).
5. Container gardeners make gardening accessible to those with health and accessibility issues.
A few things to remember to begin your love affair with container gardening:
- Always use good quality container mix potting soil.
- Make sure that water can be easily accessed or that you use a self-watering planter with an overflow option.
- For year-round planters, use good-quality containers that won’t crack, fade, or rust. In areas that freeze use double-walled planters that will better protect plant roots.
- Raise planters up off the ground to keep the water coming through the drainage hole and from freezing the container to the ground.
- Fertilize the plants in your planter. Learn what the fertilizing requirements are for the plants in your container.
- When creating borders with containers, use large planters no less than 18 inches high, so that they don’t become a tripping hazard to the easily distracted.
- Herbs, vegetables, and fruits like blueberries and strawberries grow great in containers.
To learn more about successful container gardening and find lots of inspiration go to NGB Member Crescent Gardens
“This post is provided as an educational/inspirational service of the National Garden Bureau and our members. Please credit and link to National Garden Bureau and author member when using all or parts of this article.”