Kudos to Container Gardening

We’ve begun prepping for our summer trials by bringing in seed samples of 2013 season new introductions. Yes, that’s right! I’m already in 2013 mode, and we’ve barely begun 2012! I noticed that a number of the varieties are either cascading or trailing in habit, which means more baskets and containers for trials, and maybe a little less in the gardens. This trends towards containers seems to increase each year.

Personally, I don’t mind the shift towards container gardening because it definitely fits my lifestyle better. With a backyard full of garden beds, I am constantly challenged by weeds. Even when I could keep up with the weeds (not so much anymore), it was a constant activity because weed seeds would blow in from my neighbors yards. Solution? Move some of my flowers into containers. So about 5 years ago, I began to concentrate on creating more hanging baskets and containers that could be placed either on my back deck or in strategic areas of the yard. It turns out I have a better knack for growing flowers in containers than in garden beds. It’s also allowed me to be a bit more creative with different types of containers, so now when I’m at my local garden center, I inevitably swing by the pots and containers section each time to see if there is anything that I just ‘have to have’!

Like just about everything else, there’s the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to container gardening:

The good!
  • Fewer weeds – it’s truly what inspired me to move to containers.
  • Mobility – you can move them around whenever you feel the urge for something different!
  • Great decorations for patios and decks, but also can be used in gardens and yards as accents.
  • Potting soil can go into your compost at the end of the season. I find it really helps my underutilized compost pile, and ultimately ends up amending my garden beds!
The bad!
  • Requires more diligence in watering and fertilizing.
  • Probably a little more expensive because of soil potting mix and those inevitable new containers that you must have!
  • You’ve gotta wash the containers at the end of each season to get ready for next year. Ugh.
The ugly!
  • I tend to do a little more heave-hoing because of moving the baskets and pots all around. Oh well, it’s worth it.
  • Container storage in the winter – my garage gets fuller each year as I accumulate more containers. It’s not a pretty sight right now!

For every positive aspect of container gardening, I bet any dedicated home gardener will fire back an equally solid rationale for garden beds. I’m not advocating one over the other, especially since I still have gardens. But I honestly like the balance between both types of gardening – they seem to complement each other. And for some reason, container gardening seems to work better into my daily routine, yet gives me the same joy of blending color and texture using nature’s flora.


Post a Comment