Repurposed Container Gardens Tips

In the last few years, the popularity of container gardening has soared, and for good reason. Containers are easy to maintain (almost no weeding!) and because you are controlling the quality of the soil, water and food for your plants, it is easier to create a great growing environment. Container gardening has become an art as well a hobby and by thinking outside the pot, you can have great fun, save money and create gardens that will attract attention and be custom made to fit your style and even your color scheme.

When choosing an unusual container, look for something that will weather well and last for at least your growing season and longer if you have a plant that you want to bring inside at the end of the season. Old wooden boxes are inexpensive and easy to find. Metal buckets, decorative tins and baskets also work well, and can even be enhanced by a patina of wear. Plastic reusable grocery bags are inexpensive and come in fun patterns and many sizes–they will only last for a season but plants seem to love them.

Start in your house. It may surprise you how many things you already own that can easily be made into great containers. On old colander, oatmeal tin or Clementine orange boxall make wonderful choices. Buckets, little red wagons, old kids toys or even a chipped soup bowl or a beat up basket all can be easily transformed into a pretty pot. Once you’ve checked your house, move on to yard sales and second hand stores.

Look at things with an eye for interest, durability and scale. Also, the kitchen departments of discount and Dollar stores can turn up some interesting and inexpensive finds.

Your container can be as big as a boat, or as small as a teacup, juice box or even a tiny mint tin, but the smaller the container, the less soil it will hold, which means that there is less water retention and nutrients available for your plants. This also means that there is less margin for error on the gardeners part—small containers can dry out completely very quickly. For some drought resistant and hard to kill plants–most succulents fit that description–that isn’t a problem, but for plants that need a consistent moisture level, a bigger pot may be a better choice.