Container Ideas: Thinking Outside the Box

Before planting your container garden this spring, it's time to ditch your regular container ideas and try something new.

Spring is finally here, much to the relief of many who you who have had to deal with a seemingly never-ending winter.  Whether you live in the cool north or the warm south, spring is time to get out in the garden.  Usually, one of the first tasks of spring is to plant annuals in pots, which adds beauty with minimal effort.  But, before you haul out your same, old containers and put them in the same spot as you do every year – how about trying something new?

Here are few new container ideas that you may want to try in your garden this spring:


1. Paint your plastic pots in bright colors.  Colorful pots are a great way to add color to your garden.  Even when they are empty, they add beauty to the landscape.  In addition, plastic pots are less expensive and when you pair them with a can of spray paint and the result will jazz up any garden!  Be sure to select a spray paint that can be used for plastic.


2. Place your containers in a different location.  Re-think where you will put your pots this spring.  Add height by placing them on the top of unused pots placed upside down.  Or, how about adding a different element to your window boxes or raised planters by adding pots in them and planting ground covers around them?

Filling pot with planting mix

3. Ditch the potting soil and use potting mix instead.  If you have had trouble with your container plants in the past, it might be because you are filling your pot with the wrong thing.  Potting soil can tend to become soggy, which is not good for your plants and can also cause your pots to smell after a while.  Potting mix is specially formulated to be used in containers and holds onto just the right amount of soil, which leads to healthier plants.  You can use potting soil in the garden, just not in pots.


4. Fill the bottom of large pots with recycled containers.  In big pots, the roots of most annuals and perennials grow down to the bottom – they often grow about 18 – 24 inches down.  So why waste expensive potting mix filling up the unused space at the bottom of large pots?  Look toward your recycling bin for help in filling up this space.  Empty plastic water bottles, milk jugs or soda bottles make a great filler for this unused space.  Simply fill the space with your empty containers before adding potting mix.  You will save money and your pots will be lighter!


5. Clean-up after planting pots with this easy tip.  Let’s face it – no matter how hard we try not to make a mess when adding plants to our container, there is usually a mess to clean up afterward.  How about making clean-up easier by laying out a large, plastic trash bag flat on the ground next to your pot before you plant where it will capture the dirt and pieces of leaves and roots that fall.  When you are finished, simply tie up the ends of the trash bag and your mess is all neatly contained.

I don’t know about you, but my containers are impatiently waiting to be filled with beautiful plants.  On Monday, I’ll share some creative plant combinations that you may want to try this year.

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