Today’s guest post comes from Kerry Michaels, who writes regularly at About.com for the Container Gardening section. In her post below, she offers three important tips for using unusual containers for your plants.
Almost anything can be used to make a container garden—from a thimble to a bathtub, from old buckets to patent leather stilettos. All it takes is some imagination and a few simple tools to transform everyday objects into beautiful gardens.
Size Matters: First thing to think about when choosing a container is size. In this case, bigger is better and easier. The bigger your container, the easier it is to keep your soil moist and your plants alive. Small containers hold less soil so they dry out faster. And on a hot, windy day, the moisture can be sucked out of your container shockingly fast. Most plants, with the exception of succulents, don’t like to dry out, so when choosing a container, think big.
Drainage Rules: Most plants like moist soil –not too wet and not too dry. To make sure your plants don’t get too much water, your container has to have a way for excess water to get out. Lots of unusual containers have drainage built-in—baskets, Clementine orange boxes, Crocs–all have holes. If your container doesn’t, you can usually create enough drainage by drilling or using a hammer and a large nail to punch holes—as many as you can.
Make a Lining: If your container has too many holes or the holes are too large (think wire basket or wooden trug), or you want to protect the inside of your container from water and soil, simply make a liner out of a plastic bag. Cut holes into the bottom of the bag to add drainage. If you just want to keep your soil from falling out, you can also use plastic window screening which is cheap and easy to cut. If your liner is going to be visible, you can easily create a pretty one by packing damp moss around the inside of your container.
Once you start using unusual containers, you may never go back to regular pots. Besides, half the fun of unusual containers is hunting for them.
Thanks so much, Kerry! Visit Kerry at About.com, where she writes regularly about container gardening.