Container Gardening

I don't have a lot of land in the front of my home and there is a bare area near the entry that needed some color and glamor. I went to tag sales and picked up many different used pots to plant in. I used different objects that would give me assorted levels.


You can use old step stools, baskets, bricks, anything you can find to create a variety of elevations. I planted the pots in front with a colorful assortment. In no time at all I had the neighbors coming over to admire the beauty of nature.

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February 16, 2006

I love gardening. I have been planting a lot more perennials lately as we are retired and gone quite a bit during growing season. I also do a lot of container gardening. Hope you like my pictures. The flowers on the fence is one plant. It is a Fall Clematis. Very hardy and smells wonderful.

Fall Clematis Container

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August 16, 2010

Although I could plant more in the ground, I am a container gardening freak and I love the control that it gives me. There's far less weeding, and I love that the plants are (generally) portable.

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February 21, 2006

Always cure a new terra cotta pot before planting in it. Otherwise, the pot's sides will draw moisture out of the potting soil and possibly even the plant's root ball. Dry clay wicks water away from the soil and can dry out plant roots.

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My husband built planter boxes that run along the full length of our driveway. I really enjoy filling the boxes and watching them explode as they grow! I also love using pots all over the yard. (My husband loves veggie gardening, but flowers are my passion!)

planter boxes and flower pots

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September 16, 2010

If the soil in your potted plants is hard and water has a hard time penetrating, poke holes in the soil with a pointed stick. then fill your water pail and add 1-2 drops liquid dish washing detergent. This will soften the soil and allow water to penetrate more easily.

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A friend of mine with a truck who makes a fair living recycling curb-side cast offs began finding older heavy plastic Car-top Luggage Carriers.

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Our Province is in a severe drought, so we have many flowers in pots and planters.

Container Flower

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March 8, 2011

Polymer crystals (found in garden centers and some variety stores) are a tiny crystal that expands in water to hold up to 200 times its weight in stored water.

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I like to put figurines in and around the pots in my container garden - to fill in bare spots and to generally liven up the garden. You can find good deals in slightly damaged figures -in proportion to your pots/plants. . .

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 23, 2008

I am looking for a thrifty way to container garden my vegetables this year. Any ideas?



February 3, 20050 found this helpful

HI :)

Alot of people in this area use drywall mud or industrial paint buckets... wash them very well and poke holes in the bottom for drainage... fill 1/4 of the way with stones or something to allow good drainage... plant 1 tomato plant per bucket or 2 pepper plants... cucumbers and zucchini have also been planted this way :)

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By (Guest Post)
April 11, 20050 found this helpful You can request for items there. I got a container through it for gardening.

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May 4, 20050 found this helpful

I read somewhere instead of using stones in the bottom, to use packing peanuts. They are much lighter!

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By amyw (Guest Post)
August 24, 20060 found this helpful

I used paint buckets with holes drilled in the botton for the second year in a row and absolutely love the results. I have had tomatos all summer (the ones the squirells dont get first) and they work great!

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January 31, 20080 found this helpful

I have a lot of shells from previous beach trips (my kids loved to collect when they were little). I have used them in the bottom of containers for drainage.

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By teritreehugger (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

There is a recycling program in our city, so the gardenning centers tosses used pots in bins. When I go grocery shopping i raid the bin in that store's gardenning center. I've bought few pots. Keep worms in a bin and feed them vegetable kitchen waste. Next spring you will have a nice (and free) bucket of amazing compost. I too am grateful to all who offered their advice. There are some great ideas here.

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By jean (Guest Post)
October 23, 20080 found this helpful

Since my container garden is on the front of my house because it gets more sunlight there, I thought it would look better if all the containers were the same. I bought dollar store waste baskets, drilled holes in the bottoms, used packing peanuts for drainage, and filled with soil. I have grown tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, and herbs like sage, basil, mint, parsley and chives. This was my 5th year using these containers.

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October 23, 20080 found this helpful

has anyone grown vegetables all year in containers...I wanted to plant lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers in containers and grow them this winter in my attic. It's chilly there but the sun is great. There's nothing better than fresh vegetables. Would love to be able to do this...any suggestions would be appreciated.

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April 25, 2015

Is it possible to use dry beans for drainage in the bottom of a pot?

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I would like to have ideas for what to plant in a large planter pot for our north facing balcony. We get very limited sun and live in zone 5B. I prefer non-flowering types, so grasses are OK. I will have only one large pot so plants must "work" together.

Hardiness Zone: 5b

By Rebecca Jessiman from Indianapolis, IN

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Is plaster of Paris used in outdoor things like putting it in the bottom of a planter for weight, or is concrete better?

By Jane Smith from Bonifay, FL

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The dirt in my small yard is quite hard and clay-like, so I thought I would try container gardening. I have several Rubbermaid storage boxes I thought I could use, but I want to make sure I do it successfully. Should I put holes in the boxes and if so where? Do I need a layer of rock under the soil and if so how deep? Any other pointers?

By Janice

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April 21, 2012

Do I need to amend or change out all the soil from my containers each season?

By Marc R.

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April 17, 2012

We're planning to use containers to plant tomatoes and peppers. I also plan to use window boxes for zucchini, cucumbers, and pole or string beans. I have a homemade (3/4 galvanized pipe) tee or yardarm shape approximately 7 feet high with a 4 foot cross at the top for stringing the beans. All the plants will be purchased at a local nursery which leads to my main question. Should we use potting soil, top soil, or a mixture of both?

By John F.

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