Gardening Guide

113 Container Flower Gardening Section


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113 Container Flower Gardening Article

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Container Flower Gardening


Donít have room for a respectable outdoor garden? Not to worry. The practice of container flower gardening is steadily gaining appeal and you can jump on the bandwagon. This type of gardening, however, is not only limited to upper class city dwellers; indeed, even people who have large outdoor gardens like to spice up their interior space with some pretty colors and fragrances and many gardeners complement their outdoor garden with an outdoor container garden, either for simple design reasons or to prevent some pretty, but nasty, invasive plants from harming their garden companions. Container gardens allow you to grow plants indoors which your outside environment canít support.
Container flower gardening also has the benefit of allowing you to maintain a fresh display of color during the entire gardening season. When some particular plant is in season, you can proudly display it in its lovely container in full bloom; when the flowers start to wilt, you can remove the container and replace it with another one of flowers just starting to bloom. Container flower gardening is a great way to deal with perennials that need to go through their life cycle between blooming and dying back. Put them proudly on display when in full bloom, but retire them into an out-of-the-way corner when their flowering time is done. When they perk back up, theyíre right back out on stage! In this way, you can transform your garden any time you want.
Traditionally, the obvious choices for containers to use in container flower gardening have been planter boxes, wooden barrels, hanging baskets and flower pots. No one says you have to be traditional, though; let your imagination run wild! Gardeners have used milk cartons, plastic milk jugs, or clear plastic bottles, adding drainage holes and decorating them with foil, wrapping paper, or other colorful objects. Buckets, made of any material, can also be used, as well as baskets and sturdy fabrics like denim or canvas (youíll need to line these, obviously). The bottoms of cookie jars can be lined with stones and wire mesh for good drainage and be used as a container, and wire mesh itself can be lined with peat moss to make a hanging planter. Some people have even used discarded bathtubs!
Essentially, you can use pretty much anything as a container in container flower gardening, but you do have an obligation to meet the needs of the plant that will call it home. All containers must have drainage holes. You also need to check the depth at which a particular plantís roots will grow and how the roots grow and choose an appropriate container; as an example; strawberries donít grow deep roots, so they donít need deep containers, but their roots do cover a lot of area, so they need a wide container. Make sure that your container can deal with expanding frozen soil if you live in a cold climate. If planting a large, heavy flower, in an outdoor container, make sure the container is heavy enough to not get blown over. Also think about the color and material of your container and what that means; dark-colored containers absorb lots of heat and this can cause the soil to easily dry out. Either plant in lighter-colored containers, or keep a watchful eye on the water requirements of any plant housed in a dark-colored container.