It is one of those items that we have not stocked a lot of until recently. Garden Pots have made a huge comeback in the last few years and in this article I will put together several great ideas for you to clearly see why. From being the feature of a garden to being the whole garden, garden pots have the unusual ability to be totally trans-formative in themselves and can subtlety transform the garden itself.
Before we start, let me announce a small disclaimer. The pots I have found in these pictures are representative only, of what we have in stock. Our stock changes regularly as supply comes and goes. So if you see something here that you love, I will try to get it if we don't have it at the yard when you need it.
What Is A Garden Pot?
Container gardening or pot gardening is the practice of growing plants, including edible plants, exclusively in containers instead of planting them in the ground. A container in gardening is a small, enclosed and usually portable object used for displaying live flowers or plants. It may take the form of a pot, box, tub, pot, basket, tin, barrel or hanging basket.
Above in the pictures we have three very different types of Garden Containers. Using old toys like trucks or wagons can be a fun way of adding colour to a garden and making it stand out. The Succulent Terrarium Garden Pot is a cool way of creating a fairy garden as a feature and the Clay Pots are an easy way to bring plants into non-earth areas without much hassle.
Garden Pots can be very practical. Take these two uses for herbs. Anyone who cooks will tell you that having fresh herbs right there at your disposal is wonderful. Using an old claw bath tub you can have your herbs just outside the kitchen or if you actually want them inside the kitchen, then use these small pots to hold a single herb each and line them up on your kitchen window.
How To Set Up A Garden Pot
You can see from the picture above that they have used peanuts (I presume shells) to make sure that the Garden Container drains properly. It is imperative with Garden Pots to make sure they have good drainage. Most plants are killed by too much water, not too little. Using anything that has space in between them will suffice, gravel, small pebbles or stones or even broken pots will do.
Then place a piece of material on top and fill the rest of the pot with potting mix. Container plants do best in a potting mix rather than in garden soil which can compact easily. Often garden soil contains weed seeds, pests and other critters you don’t want in your containers. When purchasing potting soil (not really soil at all) read the package carefully. Avoid items that are not fully what they say they are. At Manna Gum Building And Garden Supplies we always deliver to you what it was supposed to be. You wont find any surprises like bugs or additives. So if you need “topsoil” or “compost” we sure can get you some, but to do the best job I would recommend a high quality organic potting soil.
If you choose to make your own, find a good recipe and experiment. A classic soil-based mix is:
1 part peat moss or mature compost
1 part garden loam or topsoil
1 part clean builder’s sand
Note for young players. If you are going to reuse old garden containers then it is important to clean them thoroughly. A strong scrubbing brush and a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water will get the job done. This cleaning will stop transferring any diseases across from one plant to another.
Sunlight For Potted Plants
Most plants need 7-12 hours of sunlight a day (especially herbs, vegetables and fruits). If you don’t have that, look for shade tolerating varieties like spinach and chard.
Since every plant can be different, a great tip is to simply read the seed packet itself to determine the amount of light an individual species will need. They will normally follow these parameters:
Full Sun: Between 6 and 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Partial Sun: Plants require between 4 and 6 hours of sunlight a day, preferably in the morning and early afternoon.
Shade: Less than 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, with filtered sunlight during the rest of the day.
In Australia we don't often need to move our containers indoors for the winter. But if you feel it will help a struggling plant you may need to give them an extra sunlight-boost with plant growing lights. These specially designed lights simulate the sun and help plants thrive through the dark and cold of winter.
Above we have two special ways to use Garden Pots. The first is the "Pouring Out" or "Overflow" effect. Just bury a large container 1/3 into the ground on an angle so it looks like it is pouring out its contents. Then plant a ground cover plant like the Creeping Thyme used in the left hand picture and shazam, you have the Pouring Out effect.
On the right is a simple idea of getting three pots made from the same material but all three are a different type of pot. Often referred to as "Grouping" it makes a perfect cluster and stands out as a feature in almost any area of your home.
Watering Your Plants In Pots
Watering plants in Garden Pots is a little different than watering plants directly in the soil. Potting soil or potting mix is less dense than garden soil and thus holds less water. Additionally, the pot restricts the amount of soil to hold water and because the pots are above ground, they don’t have all that mass of dirt around them to keep cool.
Too much or too little water will kill your plants. The idea is to keep the soil moist throughout, but not wet. Many container-grown plants need to be watered once or twice a day when it is very hot. A watering can is the easiest as it is simple to measure how much water you are adding.
In the above left picture we have a watering can which obviously references the last section about watering your container plants. But in that picture we also have some Lavender and Lavender is an amazing mosquito repellent. So if your outdoor BBQ area has lots of mozzies trying to kill you, set up a few nice pots with Lavender in them and see those mozzies leave you alone.
On the right is a simple way to make a two story Container garden. Flipping upside-down a smaller pot to act as a base for the bowl planter is the best way to achieve this. Truly cheap and it makes a strong statement as a feature to a garden.
I really love this idea of burying the pots in a mulch garden. The main reason I love it is that I enjoy as little work as possible to keep the garden looking its best. And this system just takes that to a whole new level. On top of keeping it clean and tidy you can easily swap around different plants for different times of the year, allowing your garden to be a constant wonder, always in bloom.
Finally, we have the workplace. You should always have some plants around you and what better way to achieve that at work other than with a set of Garden Pots. Remember, inside garden pots will still need to drain so place them in a shallow bowl or have the bowl set inside the pot so you can't see it. Too much water is as bad as not enough so you can't just seal the bottom and hope for the best. Work place greenery and flowers can really change the feel of a room. The Garden Pot will help you do that with the least amount of fuss.
Have I missed any? If I have please share with me and I will update the post.