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Container Gardening


Article by Nicolette Martin

Photography by Unsplash

It may be that you don’t have much space to work with; maybe you are always on-the-move; or, maybe you just simply want some greenery to add a little bit of color to your space. It doesn’t matter what your reason may be. Container gardening—the practice of growing plants exclusively in containers rather than in the ground—is a great way to pack some punch into a small (or portable!) space.

With container gardening, there are almost endless possibilities. Whether you’re looking to grow decorative plants or edible ones, there’s likely an option for you—and it doesn’t have to be limited to simply growing herbs on your windowsill.

There are several factors to keep in mind when you first start your container garden, the first of which being to decide whether you’re going to keep it indoors or out. Different plants grow best in different environments, so be sure to choose species that will thrive where you’ve decided to put them—making sure they are receiving the proper amount of sunlight and moisture.

Garden Tips

Here are a few other things to be aware of when you get started:

Container Sizes: Large containers may be easier to grow plants in than small since they have more space for large root systems and larger amounts of soil retain more moisture.

Container Drainage: Your container must have a drainage system—even if it’s just a few holes you drill in it yourself. For plants that need to be watered more frequently, consider self-watering containers.

Container materials: The fun thing about container gardens is that you don’t have to limit yourself. Get creative with the containers you use (while keeping the above information in mind)! We love repurposing vintage items into unique containers.

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Choose Your Container

The containers you choose are going to largely depend on the type of plant you’re trying to grow and the best space and environment for it to grow in. 

If you’re looking for the bare basics, there are a lot of different vegetables—like cabbage, celery, green onions, lettuce and leeks—that can grow in water alone. If you’re looking for a way to use that vintage glassware or pitchers hiding in your cupboards, here’s your chance!

If you don’t have a lot of counter space (or space in general for that matter), herbs don’t need a ton of room to grow. Consider turning several small planters into a window garden for basil, cilantro, dill or thyme.

In order to grow larger plants, such as tomatoes, lemons or—yes, even avocados—you’ll need some larger containers, like large pots, baskets or box planters.

The More the Greener

Why stick with one kind of garden? Once you’re a container garden pro, there are tons of different theme gardens you can create all around your home.

Clean-Air Garden: Snake Plant + Spider Plant + Dragon Plant + English Ivy

Fragrance Garden: Lavender + Lemongrass + Mint

Lemon Garden: Lemon Verbena + Lemon Balm + Lemongrass + Lemon Geranium

All Together Now

Grow these plants and herbs together to create dish-specific combinations. To create your own combination, determine your favorite dishes and what fresh elements you could grow in your garden. There are tons of possibilities!

Try these container garden combos.

Salsa Garden: Tomato + Jalapeño + Cilantro + Onion

Stir-Fry Garden: Thai Basil + Bell Pepper + Broccoli + Green Onion

Pizza Garden: Basil + Oregano + Garlic + Roma Tomato