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Container Gardening - How Do You Start
Simple! Buy a pot or use something you already have. Buy plants, compost and add water. Your miniature garden is almost complete. OK. It's not quite that simple but it's not rocket science either. If you are a novice to gardening, container gardening is great way to dip your toes in the water.
Container gardening has become increasingly popular in recent years for many reasons. There is wide range of containers available to suit whatever space you have available and a wealth of plants that can be grown in them. It's great for the modern lifestyle. You can enjoy the relaxing effects provided by beautiful flowers with little time and effort. It's the nearest you'll get to an instant garden.
So, let's get started. Only a little research is required. Visit your local garden centre and you will usually find a display of plants suitable for growing in containers. And, depending on the time of year, you will be able to see some of them in all their glory. There will also be information on their requirements.
First, the right sized pot. How much or how little will they grow in a season? Some plants will need room to expand, while others will prefer to be snug. Also, check the pot for drainage. Although frequent watering will be needed through the summer, you have to prevent the root system from becoming waterlogged, depriving the plant of oxygen. A layer of gravel, stones or broken pots can help with this.
Most plants will be happy with a general, multipurpose compost. Some need special conditions. Lime haters will need ericaseous compost. If your plants will stay in the pot for more than one year, you need a loam based compost. If you are mixing plants, make sure that they can all tolerate the same conditions.
To reduce your maintenance workload, add a slow release fertilizer and some moisture retaining granules at planting time. Water the plants thoroughly before you start. Position your container to provide the right amount of sunshine and shelter from the wind.
Add a layer of compost to your drainage layer. Try positioning the plants in the container before you remove them from their pots. When you are happy with the layout, make up the compost to the level of the bottom of the largest pot. Backfill with compost and bring all of the plants up to the same surface level. Gently firm down the compost, leaving the surface an inch below the top of the pot to allow for watering.
Sit back, relax and enjoy your handiwork. And consider what would be a good position for your next masterpiece. The great thing about container gardening is that it can grow with you. As you become more knowledgable and enthusiastic, there is always something knew to try. How about some home grown vegetables. Or something more exotic. Where will your imagination take you?
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