Need a little help with Container Gardening ideas? What to do with pots? Which container to choose to grow your plants in? With plenty of inspiring photos, these articles will help you visualise what’s possible in your garden.

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 money

Turning ‘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…)

Revitalising & Re-using Old Potting Mix

Do you garden in containers? If so, revitalising old potting mix and checking your pots on a regular basis are essential routine maintenance activities for ongoing plant health. If you are starting to see problems in your plants, it’s probably time to check what they’re growing in!

This is a trouble shooting article to help you improve your potting mix and solve some common problems.

Revitalising and re-using old potting mix

 

Can you Reuse Old Potting Mix? If so, HOW?

One of the principles of Frugal Gardening involves RE-USING materials = less waste and reduces our footprint on the planet. It also has the added benefit of saving us money!

Bags of commercial potting mix can be quite expensive particularly if you have lots of pots. It also dries out fast and your plants suffer.

Making your own homemade potting mix make sense (and cents)! Why? Because it lasts longer, provides all your plant needs and contains no nasty chemical additives like water crystals and soil wetters. Re-using your old potting mix definitely is more satisfying, sustainable and cost-effective. (more…)

How to Restore Waterlogged Pot Plants

Are your plants or soil waterlogged? There are many ways this can happen, but you CAN avoid losing your precious plants!

How to restore waterlogged pot plants + Solutions to save your plants from drowning, disease and contamination

Solutions to save your plants from drowning, disease and contamination

 

What is waterlogging and why does it occur?

Waterlogging occurs when the soil and root zone around plants becomes saturated. Basically, the water can’t drain away fast enough. This happens when more rain falls than the soil can absorb or evaporate into the air.

This can happen with an intense period of rainfall such as summer storms. You may live in a heavy rainfall area and have a seasonal problem. If you live on a slope with neighbouring properties above you, you literally may have water flowing through your garden.

Gardens and plants don’t only suffer from waterlogging as a result of extreme weather events. Overwatering especially in pots, poor drainage and heavy clay soils can also contribute to this problem.

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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 plant container 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, planter or container for you. Dig in!

 

5 Points to Consider before Choosing a Pot

1. What is the Cost?

There are lots of options on the market if you are looking to buy. From cheap and cheerful to decorative and expensive. If you have a tight budget, you may want to consider upcycled containers rather than buying new ones. There are many clever plant container ideas to consider that use the embodied energy in items you may already have. Think outside the box!

Buy local if you can to save on delivery costs. Every choice has a financial and environmental cost!

2. How Long will the Pot Last?

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? Will it stay in one place for a long time?

Extended durability means less consumption of resources. e.g. While a foam box may be cheap it doesn’t last long in hot wet climates. A long-lasting pot is a more sustainable choice than replacing a cheap one that degrades quickly!

3. What is the Environmental Impact?

Some planter materials and construction processes drain our natural resources. Others have a smaller environmental footprint using fewer resources. Processes used in manufacture and transport often require the 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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Three Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Plant Pots

Faced with a sea of choices, if you select the wrong pot, you can waste money, time and even damage your plants. There are three main features to consider when choosing containers.

1. Drainage 2. Porosity 3. Weight. These and other important factors, can help you avoid making costly mistakes like waterlogged or dry soil that kills your plants or broken pots in windy spots.

3 Key Factors to Consider when Choosing Plant Pots to Buy

Do your homework first before buying pots or repurposing items for your plants

It may save you a lot of heartache later, by taking into consideration how porous and heavy a pot is, as well as its drainage characteristics.

Three Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Plant Pots

1. Drainage

Whichever container you select, it must have adequate drainage holes.  Healthy plants not only need room to grow, but also adequate oxygen for the roots.  Excess water must be able to escape or plants will drown. If your potting mix smells sour, this could be the problem!

2. Porosity

Porous containers such as those made from unglazed terracotta or clay, timber, paper pulp and other natural materials allow moisture and air to move through them.

What are the benefits of materials that ‘breathe’?

  • They allow air to circulate around plant roots.
  • As the moisture evaporates out the side of the pot, it cools the soil and helps draw excess water, preventing root rot.

What are the disadvantages?

  • These containers dry out more quickly (especially in full sun) and so does the potting mix.
  • This can lead to plant stress or death if not watered regularly.
  • These pots need watering more frequently than non-porous materials like ceramic and plastic.

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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 a garden in pots.

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).
  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.

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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.

Micro Gardening in Small Spaces

Small space gardens can be beautiful, abundant and low maintenance.

Make the most of the vertical space you have by layering.

Many people have the challenge of gardening in small spaces. If you’re short on time, space, energy or money, don’t despair! There are many options you can try, even if you have limited room to grow a garden.

Urban gardeners with a windowsill, indoor pot, balcony, verandah, courtyard or not-so-squeezy backyard can all grow incredible edibles for the kitchen table, fragrant cut flowers or  vibrant colour, privacy screens and much more.

Whether you’re a beginner gardener or a ‘green thumb’, on this site you’ll learn tips and tricks about everything relating to gardening in small spaces including:

Most of us live busy lives in urban locations with limited time and energy to spend on the dream of a healthy beautiful garden.  One that seems to grow effortlessly almost on its own. One that costs us virtually nothing; produces incredible volumes of food; flowers; fragrance; and enviable looks from visitors but takes little time to maintain! (more…)

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