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How to Make a Temporary Container Garden

By: Rachel Collier - Updated: 12 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Container Gardening Container Plants

Creating a container garden is easier than you might think, and brings many benefits. Take a look at our guide to making a temporary container garden to suit your space and lifestyle.

Container Convenience

The main benefit of creating a temporary container garden is that it can move with you from property to property. This is great if you rent your home, saving you investing time and money in something that you’ll inevitably leave behind at some point. While showy bedding plants can add an inexpensive splash of colour to spring and summer borders in a temporary garden, more costly shrubs and trees are best potted up for easy transit. Container gardens look fantastic, too, so this style suits any outside space, especially if yours is on the small side, or happens to lack beds for planting.

Pot Luck

Container gardening is a great opportunity to have some fun with pots and planters, just remember to add drainage holes if necessary. Why not get creative – most plants will be happy growing in almost any container, though bear in mind that you’ll need to choose a material that can withstand frosty weather. Chimney pots, wheelbarrows and even old tyres can all be used to great effect, so take a look around your home before you visit the garden centre. This is also a good way to involve kids in the garden; get them hooked early by giving them a container of their own to look after.

Plan to Plant

Along with soil and water, sunlight is a most important ingredient for healthy plants. Position your containers in a bright, sunny aspect and pay heed to plants’ individual care guides to help them thrive in your garden. A sheltered area is best, but the beauty of container gardening is that you are at liberty to move at least smaller plants around. Plan before you position larger containers as these can be heavy and difficult to move, particularly after watering or rain.

Soil and Toil

When you’re ready to plant up your containers make sure you buy a soil mix made specifically for container gardening. This will include all the right nutrients required to keep your plants happy. Remember to take into account the needs of your plants, too. Some will demand special soil mixes to survive. Feeding and watering is essential, and it pays to select a soil that contains or conserves added fertiliser.

Blooming Lovely

So you’ve worked out where to plant and what to plant in, but have you decided what to grow? Some great ideas for container gardening can be found in any good garden reference book, but most plants will be happy in a container. The many types of maple can make lovely ornamental trees, and scented geraniums will create a sensory delight. From fuchsias to ornamental grasses; spring bulbs to sweet peas, there is a huge choice available to you.

Edible Gardening

Fruit and vegetables can also be successfully grown in containers, so don’t think a temporary garden means you must forgo your vegetable patch. Fruit trees, tomatoes and strawberries will all grow happily in pots, and why not sow lettuce seeds and other greens for salads throughout spring and summer? You’ll certainly never go hungry with a little planning.

If you’ve temporarily stepped off the property ladder, or you’re waiting to climb your first rung, container gardening might be the perfect answer for you.

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