What makes container gardening so great? Consider the following short list of pluses:
Containers allow you to enjoy plants in areas where a traditional garden is awkward or impossible. Even with limited space in an urban apartment, you can grow fruits, vegetables, flowers and shrubs just about anywhere. Plants thrive on rooftops, decks, balconies, stairs and even on the stoop of your mobile home. And if you have a nice outdoor garden, you can vary your selection or save yourself the trouble of walking out to the yard on your sore ankle.
Container gardening also enables you to experiment with plants and to optimize or to control environmental conditions. If you live in New Hampshire, you can offer your sun-starved vegetables and herbs more light indoors or you can grow cacti or parsley in dry, well-drained soil that just doesn’t exist in your outdoor garden. And if you live in Arizona, you can shelter those Siberian crabapple plants.
Your hanging wire baskets and old tin buckets can restrain plants such as sage that spread quite easily in an ordinary garden by containing them alone or in reserved areas.
Additionally, you can grow different types of plants in one cordoned container in order to allow plants to exist in symbiotic relationships. Plants help each other to survive. For example, oregano repels insects that bother broccoli and enhances the flavor of beans.
On the other hand, containers allow you to offer special attention to your favorite fennel plant or cascablanca lily. If your particular herb sits on your windowsill next to your desk, then you can determine each day whether or not it needs a little more water or compost.
Plants in containers can be moved easily. Whether it’s shifting your pots of gardenias from your front porch to your backdoor during the rainy or cold season or transporting them to a new home, your plants can go with you.
Do you have heavy pots? Then garden dollies can transport those containers indoors during an early frost.
If pests infect your calendula, you can easily move and treat those containers with appropriate sprays without disturbing other plants.
Additionally, you can arrange containers so that plants can attract and repel insects or flies according to your needs. Some plants emit allelochemicals from their roots or leaves, which repel pests. For example, sweet basil can frighten away hover flies that bother your fennel. And beans attract insects that eat leaf beetles, which harm your corn.
Pots of blooming petunias make the most austere entrance or sparsely decorated balcony or deck feel warm and inviting. Or maybe you want to draw more attention to your seasonally decorated doorway or window? Use geometrical techniques, below, for that bare or busy wall, courtyard or patio. What’s more, if areas of your yard look scraggly or muddy, you can mask such eyesores with a large pot or two of colourful nasturtiums or strawberries.