14 Outdoor Plant Container Tips
You don’t need a huge yard or a grand garden to enjoy the beauty of flowers, plants and greenery. Potted plants can offer joy and the reward of gardening, even if you are limited to a patio, balcony or porch. Once you get the hang of container gardening you might find yourself growing more and more pots each year. Containers also have the added benefit of being beautiful, acting as showpieces in the garden or decorative accents. These tips for successful outdoor container gardening will get you well on your way to becoming a gardening pro.
1. Choosing a container for plants is important. Plastic pots are cheap, light, and durable and they keep the soil moist; however, they can turn brittle and crack.
2. Terra-cotta pots are made from baked clay and are very attractive; however, they are heavy, break easily, and are subject to frost damage.
3. Glass fiber containers have a wide variety of molds and colors. They can look like stone but are much lighter. They are strong, durable, and repairable, but are expensive.
4. Reconstituted stone pots are crushed stone molded into shape. Imitation classical urns and vases are very attractive but extremely heavy and should be used with caution in roof gardens or balconies.
5. If using new concrete plant containers, leave them outdoors for a few weeks to weather fully, as some concrete can contain setting agents that may be harmful to plants.
10. Wooden half barrels are useful plant containers. Line the barrels with strong plastic to stop the compost from coming in contact with the wood. Make drainage holes both in the plastic and the barrel.
11. When using heavy plant containers, make sure to position them in their intended final sites before filling, as they are difficult to move. If they do have to be moved, put lengths of old scaffolding pipes under the pot to use as rollers.
12. Take the wheels off old suitcases, shopping carts, or old strollers and fix them to the bottom of heavy patio pots. This will allow them to be easily moved around the garden or pathways.
13. To reduce the weight of compost in a large pot, fill the container with empty plastic bottles to a depth of 8" (12 cm). Cover with a layer of polyethylene, making holes in it for drainage. Fill to the top with compost.
14. When stacking terra-cotta pots, place a few sheets of newspaper between them to prevent the pots from jamming together and making them difficult to separate.