If you have a small or shady yard, you may assume that creating a garden is simply impossible. But did you know that there is a new way of gardening that allows anyone to grow lush, vibrant plants and even fruits, herbs, flowers and vegetables?
It's called container gardening, and it involves using large containers to grow any kind of garden plant imaginable, resulting in bountiful yields of produce, herbs and other botanicals. You can reap a harvest equal to what you'd get via conventional backyard gardening. As an added bonus, planter gardening is low-maintenance, inexpensive and virtually mess-free.
Almost any type of vegetable can be grown in a container. Popular favorites include tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squashes and beans. As long as your plants get sufficient light, they will produce enough to keep you stocked with fresh produce all summer long – without the expensive grocery bill!
This approach is uniquely suited to organic gardening, since indoor plants aren't exposed to the elements and common pests, making it easier to rely on all-natural growing techniques. If you use natural fertilizers for organic container gardening, your produce will also be 100 percent pesticide free. Choose a large, 15- to 100-quart plastic container for vegetable gardening, or simply use a double or triple layer of sturdy, inexpensive garbage bags.
An unusual new container gardening idea is to create a water garden by growing aquatic plants in large planters filled with a water growing media instead of soil. Choose a sturdy plastic or ceramic planter as well as a smaller planter which will contain the plant itself.
Fill the small planter with packed clay and pot your water plant. Then, fill the large container with water and a water fertilizer and submerge the small container inside of it. When you're done, you can add additional items such as fountains, rocks, or even fish to your miniature pond.
If you don't have much room to grow garden plants indoors, you can still reap an impressive bounty by growing herbs in containers. Herb container gardening can involve anything from a few small containers on an apartment windowsill to an entire herb garden planted in rows of 20-gallon containers. As long as you set the plants in the sun and water occasionally, you simply cannot fail to harvest huge amounts of fresh, fragrant herbs. Harvest your herbs throughout the year by snipping a few leaves at a time – it's a delicious way to enhance your cooking!