Urban Gardening 2 – Container Gardening

life on the balcony via apartment therapy

It’s time for part two of our urban gardener series. This time we’ll be having a look at container gardening. For many of us who don’t have much growing space but who still want to exercise our green thumb, planting in containers can be a great option. The best thing about this type of gardening is that it really encourages you to be creative; no type of container, space or plant is off limits, you can even grow vegetables!

Shoe Organizer Planter via instructables

Go Vertical

You don’t need a massive plot of land in order to have a garden. Why not grow up? The pallet garden (pictured at top) and the pocket garden, ingeniously made out of a shoe organizer (pictured above,) allow you to grow a number of plants in a small amount of space. Both projects have DIY instructions that can be found here and here.  You can even hang one on your balcony if you live in an apartment or condo.


Think Unexpected

This take on the window box is perfectly charming and could be recreated using any vintage tins. I’ve also seen tea pots, rubber boots, vintage toolboxes and even an old barbecue used as planters. Just make sure to poke holes in the bottom of any container you use to allow for adequate drainage.

Design Night via botanesque

Garden with Style

With the unlimited options of containers available it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that matches your outdoor decorating style. The modern planters above are a take on the classic terracotta strawberry pot. One of these planters would be right at home on even the ritziest penthouse balcony. At $375 US they’re not cheap, but they sure are pretty.


Container Gardening Basics

High quality soil is the key for successful container gardening. Look for professional grade soil, and if you are planning on growing edibles I recommend sourcing out organic soil.

Choose plants that thrive in similar conditions, this means keeping plants that require frequent watering together or shade loving plants in the same container.

Don’t overcrowd. You want your planters to be full but not so full that plants are competing for space. The number of plants you can use will vary depending on the size of the container.

If your container does not have holes in the bottom, drill holes ½ inch apart and line the bottom of your pot with newspaper to prevent soil from escaping.

To retain moisture spread a layer of mulch on top, and you can also mix in some slow release fertilizer.

The amount you will need to water will vary depending on how hot and windy it is outside. Check your soil in the mornings and evenings to see if it has become too dry.

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