Container Ideas is where you will find articles showing you how to re-purpose and re-use materials as clever, crafty and creative containers for growing your food and plants.

Sensational Shoe Planters

DIY – Make Your Own Creative Repurposed Shoe Gardens

If you need a little inspiration for your next plant container, the solution might be right at your feet … so to speak!

Don't give your shoes the boot. Repurpose them as decorative planters and sensational shoe gardens

Don’t give your old shoes the boot. Repurpose them as decorative planters.

If you’ve only got space for a micro garden, shoes make easy planters for herbs, shallow rooted leafy vegies and succulents that all do well in small spaces.

 

Repurpose with a purpose - This cute garden is from Lizard’s Home Sweet Home. Photo: Rabbit_mage

One night someone came into this school and broke every single pot in the garden. Instead of tossing it all, the kids picked up the bits, decorated them, and piled them along with some unique shoe planters and succulents, by a tree to make a cozy home for the wild lizards that hang around the school.

 

When your shoes have served their purpose, why not give them a new green life as a planter?  Add a few drainage holes with a screwdriver for soft soled shoes and use a drill for leather ones. If your sole already has a hole worn through, the job may be done for you!  Just fill with potting mix and plant away.  See below for boot-iful DIY shoe planter projects. (more…)

Choose Safe Containers for Growing Food

Do you want to grow food in safe container gardens? Whilst not wanting to dampen your enthusiasm for using repurposed planters, I encourage you to do your due diligence when choosing that perfect container.

Choose Safe Containers for Growing Food Gardens

The majority of pre-loved or second-hand goods may well be safe to use. However, before you reuse a container for planting in, there are some considerations, other than whether it can hold some dirt and leafy greens!

 

My philosophy is “to err on the side of caution – it’s better to be safe than sorry!”

 

Tips to Help you Choose Safe Containers for Growing Food

  • Check the Skin it’s In!  What is the container is made of? If you can, find out what material the container or item is made from (especially on the surface). Can you find out more from the manufacturer? Is the surface porous? Some materials such as terracotta or unfired clay are extremely porous. They can absorb and leach water-soluble chemicals through the surface into the soil.  (more…)

Clever Plant Container Ideas

DIY – Make Your Own Garden Planters

Why buy new when you can DIY and save money?  Need a little inspiration to get your garden started in a container?  Check out what some amazingly creative people around the globe have used to grow a garden in – just about everything!

 

School desk edible planter - just one of many Clever Plant Container Ideas @ www.themicrogardener.com

This old desk school desk has a new life in the garden as an edible planter filled with luscious lettuces, shallots and colourful flowers.

 

Ideas for Repurposed Planters … INCLUDING the Kitchen Sink!

 

Stuck for where to start?  Looking for inspiration for what to grow your next garden in?  Look no further! I hope you like these creative planters as much as I do.

 

Porcelain planters seem to be quite popular in some gardens.

A new meaning for ‘potted’ plants! These old toilet cisterns have also been given a new life as planters. Porcelain is long lasting and with built in drainage, their prior lives could be concealed behind other plants or a bamboo screen around the base.

 

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Repurposed Container Gardens – Turn Trash into Treasure

Ever wonder why some people’s gardens look so beautiful, full of character and have that special charm?  If you look closely at pictures in garden magazines or visit open gardens and nurseries, you’ll notice one of the clever design tricks they use is adding interesting features, repurposed containers and collections.

Small courtyard garden with good design creates an appealing space to enjoy.

This small courtyard garden is a good example of clever design and use of a collection of new and old pots. A seating area, water fountain, screening plants and coordinated colours also help unify this tiny space.

These little touches help to:

  • unify a garden
  • give it focus
  • create a theme
  • reflect your personality
  • add character

and enhance the visual appeal so you want to spend time in that special space.

 

“Designing your garden space is even more important if you have a micro garden.”

 

With a limited space and budget, it’s not always possible to buy new plant containers or garden art but you can still achieve a dream look and great functional growing spaces by ‘turning old into new.’  You don’t need special skills – just a little inspiration … and perhaps a little time to hunt around for the right object.

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Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters

Don’t have the time or money to buy a new pot or build a garden bed?  It’s much easier than you may think to find the perfect container without costing an arm and a leg!  If you’re not in the habit of finding ‘new ways with old things,’ read on to find out why you should consider reusing what you’ve already got. Repurposed planters may be just the solution.

 

Twinings Tea Tin Windowsill Planters - Items you might otherwise throw away can be useful plant containers instead. | The Micro Gardener

These quaint little metal Twinings vintage tea tins have been reused as small herb pots. They make a cute set of windowsill planters. To avoid rust damage, sit metal tins on a tray to catch water from the drainage holes.

 

1. Save money/make moneyTurning ‘trash into treasure is one sure way to be thrifty in the garden.  If you don’t have to buy a container, you can keep your money in your purse for plants or other garden supplies you really need to buy. Being creative with your hands and making attractive, affordable planters, potting benches and unique pots for other gardeners may also be a niche market to make money or raise funds for a worthy project. (more…)

Frugal Gardening – 5 Thrifty Recycling Ideas

Frugal gardening is about finding creative ways to save money. Need some ideas for making your own garden supplies rather than buying new? These tips will help inspire you with simple steps you can take.

Frugal Gardening - 5 Thrifty Recycling Tips. Make your own garden supplies to save money.

Frugal Gardening – 5 Thrifty Recycling Tips. Make your own garden supplies to save money.

Pots and containers, seed raisers, plant labels, watering cans and sprayers are some of most commonly used garden supplies.  There are many household items you may have been putting in your recycle or rubbish bin, without realizing their real value. You can start saving and repurposing many everyday items and turn them into useful supplies instead. Implementing even one or two of these tips will keep your money in your purse for longer, so dig in!

 

Creative cost-saving containers are only limited by your imagination! Like this upcycled toolbox with rustic garden tools.

Creative cost-saving containers are only limited by your imagination! Like this upcycled toolbox with rustic garden tools.

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Choosing a Pot Plant Container – The Pros and Cons

All Pots Aren’t Created Equal!

Looking at micro gardening in a container?  If you are confused about what kind of pot or planter to choose, you’re not alone!  There are the good, the bad and the ugly out there. I’ve done the research for you and created a Comparison Chart to help you make the best decision on which is the best pot or container for you. Dig in!

 

A few points to consider:

  • Financial Cost: There are lots of options on the market if you are looking to buy – from cheap and cheerful to decorative and expensive.

  • Product Life: Think about the longevity of the pot you require. Is it for a short term project? If so, looks may not be important. Or is it something you’re prepared to invest in, as a design feature?  Extended durability can mean less consumption of resources.
  • Environmental Impact: Some planter materials and construction processes drain our natural resources. Others have a smaller environmental footprint using less resources. Processes used in manufacture and transport often require significant use of fossil fuels. As a ‘conscious consumer,’ is this important to you? If so, consider making your own pots where possible. Choose pots made from sustainable materials or reuse containers creatively to grow your plants.

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Tips for Growing a Garden in Pots

Low Cost Creative Ideas for Container Gardens

 

Looking for some inspirational ways to give your small space or garden a facelift?  I’ve put together some thrifty and creative ideas to get the most out of growing in containers.

 

New ways with old pots:

Got an odd assortment of containers of all colours, shapes and sizes or black plastic pots and want a more harmonious look for grouping them all together? Try these ideas:

  1. A couple of coats with water based non-toxic acrylic paint to coordinate the colours;
  2. Wrap them in hessian bags for an earthy look (hold in place with wire and tie at the top with rope or plaited string); or
  3. Hide them inside another container or cachepot.

    Painting old pots is a low cost way to give them a new life

    Try revamping old pots with a quick coat of paint for a colourful facelift.

The Benefits of Container Gardening

Containers can be used to grow beautiful yummy and fragrant plants.

Grow Colour, Incredible Edibles and Fragrant Plants in Containers

If you’re not convinced about growing in pots and containers, here’s a list of reasons why you should get started right now no matter where you live:

  • Versatile: Container gardens allow you to grow on a balcony, patio, courtyard, indoors on windowsills or rooms with adequate light, the deck of a boat, rooftop or caravan annexe.
  • More variety: You can grow plants that may not be suitable to grow in your garden soil and grow plants next to each other even though they may have different soil needs.
  • Accessibility: Growing plants in containers makes gardening accessible to almost anyone including children, those with limited mobility and the elderly.
  • No weeding: Due to the small surface area, it’s unlikely weed seeds will find their way into pots.
  • No heavy garden tools and equipment: Saves your back and money with less maintenance.
  • Mobility: Plants in pots can easily be moved to suit your needs or to a more suitable sunny or shady location during the day.
  • Change your look: Easily vary your colour scheme.  As each plant finishes flowering or fruiting, it can be replaced with another.
  • Flexibility: Rearrange plants to suit the season or your personal taste.
  • Control space invaders: Vigorous growers like mints and bamboo that are too invasive if let loose in the garden do well in containers, but will take over an in-ground garden.