By Mike Heinzen, Karsten’s Ace Hardware Store Manager

One of the trends in gardening and landscaping today is the increasing use of decorative containers. Any object that holds soil in which a plant can be grown is fair game. Pots, tubs, and half barrels overflowing with flowers add appeal to any garden. Container gardening can serve a practical purpose too – it is ideal for those with little or no garden space.

Here is all you need to know to DIY your very own container garden!

Proper Container Planting
• Make sure your container has sufficient drainage holes in the bottom.

• Do not use saucers that retain water on the bottom of any pots.

• Cover drainage holes with a screen type material to allow water, not soil, to drain out.

• Fill with a draining soil suitable for the type of plant to be grown in the container.

• Leave at least an inch of head room for watering.

• Water newly potted plants twice to allow for initial compacting.

Choosing a Plant for your Container
• The shape of container will determine the shape of the plant to use, to obtain the proper symmetry.

• Plant succulent plants in porous containers, others in more moisture retaining containers.

• Location is a factor in plant choice, e.g. sun/shade and wind level.
• Taller, heavier plants will need heavier pots to support them.

• The color of plant foliage and flowers should coordinate with container color.

• Containers look best when grouped together.

Consider Placement
• The beauty of container grown plants is that they can be used anywhere!

• Among garden bed plants.

• Bordering sidewalks and entrances.

• On decks, terraces, and top of walls.

• Along walls, fences and in corners.

• Under trees and overhangs.

• As hanging plants.

• Clusters of three or more for artistic effect.

Additional Tips for Container Gardening
• Often, large containers are very heavy and difficult to move when filled completely with soil. Try filling the bottom of a deep pot or container with light fillers (e.g. pine bark), and then soil for your plants growing needs.

• Clay pots build up mineral deposits that can cause excessive salinity to filter into the soil, in addition to looking bad. The best way to clean them is with an equal one-third solution of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water.

• Tired of clay pots breaking, and plastic pots becoming brittle and cracking? Try making your own indestructible containers using galvanized buckets or wash tubs, then drilling holes in the bottom and spray painting the exterior.

• Dark colored containers absorb heat more than light or reflective colors. They will dry the soil faster, requiring frequent watering.

• Recycle nursery containers. Many nurseries propagate their own plants and will gladly take them to reuse, saving them production cost which passes the saving to the consumer.

What You’ll Need:
Ace Potting Soil 1.5 cu. ft.
Product #7203144 – $4.99
Happy Frog Planting Soil 12 quart
Product #7299290 – $11.99
Whitney Farms Organic Potting Soil 1.5 cu. ft.
Product #7269392 – $11.99
Happy Frog Potting Soil 2 cu. ft.
Product #7268717 – $21.99
Raised Garden Bed Container with Stand
Product #7798622 – $149.99