Make your Plants at Home in Unusual Containers pt. 2

So, it turns out that if you want to schedule a series, it’s a good idea to actually schedule the series, rather than set up the drafts and not save them. Ah well, time to shake my fist at technology, and start again. We left off talking about choosing containers for certain kinds of plants. Now it’s time to go from the quick draining to the water retaining.

Bowl Planters

Bowl planters can come in all sizes and depths
Bowl planters can come in all sizes and depths

Bowl planters have wide tops, and are often shallow. Water evaporates easily out of the soil in these conditions. They tend to look gorgeous, but they need careful monitoring for moisture levels. Many bowl planters also don’t have drainage holes—particularly if you’re making a planter from one of your own bowls! Chances are you’re not going to drill out that decorative dish you rarely use, but want to re-purpose as a bowl planter. Do not worry! All is not lost. These planters are great for two very different kinds of plants.

Montana Bowl Planters planted with reeds and moss
Montana Bowl Planters planted with reeds and moss

The aquatic plants, or those plants that want to be wet all the time will do wonderfully in bowl planters. Odd as it may sound after the warning about evaporation, but if you keep up your watering, you’ll be able to use the amount of soil and any non-porous bowl planter—like ones made out of plastic or resin—to keep the water in, and give the over water loving plants a great place to thrive. Just check your water levels every day, and you’ll be able to grow ornamental grasses, reeds, or plants more typically found adorning wetlands quite happily.

An air root plant in a shallow Mezzo Mod Dish
An air plant in a shallow Mezzo Mod Dish

On the other end of the spectrum, a bowl planter is a great choice for air plants, and other arid climate growers. You have to be a little more careful, due to the drainage limitations of bowl planters, and check that soil has dried out all the way to the bottom before adding that week’s water ration, but a conscientious container gardener will have beautiful results.

Make your Plants at Home in Unusual Containers

Hello all, this is going to be a full series this week. There are some really cool container designs out there, and we’re just going through and suggesting different kinds of plantings for them.

So, you’ve got big plans for your house or office plants, and you’re about to get containers to put them in. But there is a bewildering variety on the market, so how do you choose? Well, every container grower should start with the needs of the plant. The amount of light and shade the plant needs is going to dictate where you can put your pot, while the planting depth and water needs are going to dictate the kind of pot you need. Pot size is the only limiting factor when it comes to sun and shade, but container designs totally control the amount of water that the plants can get, so here are the best plants for some unusual containers.

Part 1: Wall Gardens

Wall planters drain fast and well. Their planting space is not deep, and gravity draws the water downward. With their unique use of space, you can easily find a wall that gets full sun all day long, or is mostly in shade to suit your plants, but you need to plant flora that prefers dry roots to wet roots.

In full sun, a wall planter is perfect for succulents. With the ease of succulent propagation, and the sheer number of varieties they come in, you can soon fill up even the largest wall planter with a veritable field of living art.

You can do so much with just a feww different succulent plants
Image from livingwallart.com, a great source for vertical garden inspiration, indoors and out

If you have a set of kitchen herbs that you need to plant, a vertical garden is often the solution to their need for well drained soil and tons of sunlight. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage love good drainage, and the same kind of watering cycle. If it grows in Sicily, chances are a wall garden will be a good match for those plants.*

Rosemary and thyme are perfect for wall planters
MyPotsandPlanters.com’s chalkboard wall gardens

*Basil is a little different. It likes wet feet, and almost the same conditions a tomato plant will grow in. I suggest planting them together in the same large self-watering planter.

If you can place the vertical wall garden in partial sun, then you’ve got a perfect space for trying plants that work as shaded ground cover and prefer drier conditions. A cool experiment might be trying to grow a small shrub like Japanese kerria, but ivys and hostias will like the good drainage provided by a vertical wall garden, so consider a vertical garden if you’ve got a lot of trailing vines, or dry-tolerant ground cover.

A trailing ivy that began in a vertical planter could grow up a bookcase in time
Ground covers can do really well in indoor settings

All right, tomorrow we have a discussion of Bowl Planters, but for now, we’d love to see what any of our readers might have done with their walls.

Look at those chives!
Mix ground cover and herbs for different effects

Making an Elegant Garden in Limited Space

Plants are coming out of their dormancy period in the Northeast, and they’ve been awake and blooming in the Northwest since February. Now is the time to go to the nurseries and get the perfect plants for your home, balcony, deck, or wherever you can put your planters. We’ve come up with our list of the top five planters and accessories that we need right now to make those plants feel at home.

5. Organic Container Mix: No mater what, plants need dirt, and the results with this dirt are amazing

The geranium on the left was grown in organic container mix The Pinto Geranium on the left is three times larger than their friend grown at the same time and in the same conditions

(Staging provided by our local nursery. Thanks so much guys!) There has been an experiment running in our building since February, when these geraniums had their seeds put down in little pots, and their pots were placed under our grow lights. Everything was the same, except for the soil. The geranium on the left was put in the organic container mix, while the geranium on the right was potted in regular container mix. We’re convinced that organic container mix is the best way to go.

4. Aquasav Colorful Hanging Basket

It looks great outside, and the drainage is phenomenal
It looks great outside, and the drainage is phenomenal

This basket makes water retention a breeze, which means less watering and happier plants. It’s a win for us, and we get to choose colors to suit ourselves. Just hang these from your porch to brighten up our home.

3. Origami Planters

Check out all of the modern designs from Crescent Garden over at MyPotsandPlanters.com
They’re new, gorgeous, and we want these planters

We’re really excited about these new planters, especially given the hard weather we have up here. They’re durable double-walled to have better root protection against the early frosts. The modern design is so eye catching that they can become a landscape piece for a front yard, or add architectural distinction to a house.

2. River Rock Planters

Go look at these stunning planters
These planters are great for tabletop plants and finishing your interior design

Since we’re recommending planters with modern edges, we only think it fair to give smoother contemporary looks a spot, too, and these River Rock planters are our pick. Make the small one a table centerpiece, while the large planter‘s taller shape works beautifully outside, and the medium planter can hold succulents on a bookshelf.

1. The Wall Succulent Planter

Sometimes I wonder if these plants will grow as densely as I hope and dream
One magnificent planter for desert beauty

Exactly what it claims to be. It’s perfect for succulents and many other wonderful plants that need low water levels, while the rustic style and rich redwood is gorgeous. This American made piece of craftsmanship gets all our recommendations, and is definitely the top pick of this list for anyone thinking about container growing this year.

Wood Planter Comparison: A Brief Guide to Wooden Planters

 

beautifulWooden planters have many benefits aside from being naturally beautiful. For one, wood is among the most sustainable planter materials. Unlike plastic and other synthetic materials, untreated wood is biodegradable. Also plastic and other synthetic materials often contain chemicals that could introduce toxins into the soil and to your plants. Untreated wood planters are made of natural wood and don’t have these harmful toxins.

Wood is also more durable than other flimsy materials such as plastic and fiberglass. To further extend the planter life span, line them with a plastic or fabric liner to avoid rotting. Wood also allows for excess water to escape naturally instead of trapping water and saturating your roots like plastic and resin planters do. It is also important to have adequate drainage for wooden planters to prevent rotting. Wooden planters insulate plant roots from the heat of the summer sun as well as help to protect them from the winter frost. redwood plantersAnother plus to wooden planters is that it’s easy to change up the style of your container garden without replacing your planters by simply repainting your planters. However, you should avoid stains and sealers on your wooden planters as these are usually toxic to plants.
There are many different types of wood to choose from when deciding on a wooden planter. Some popular woods are cypress, teak, redwood and red or white cedar. These types of wood are popular planter materials because they are all naturally weather and insect resistant.

There are many different designs you can choose from when purchasing a wooden planter. My Pots and Planters has a wide selection of wooden planters ranging from a small beveled redwood planter boxes to an eight foot elevated cedar planters. redwood planterThere are different styles to choose from to match your container garden style. If you are looking for a more rustic look the farmstead raised garden bed or the Gronomics rustic planter brings a rough rustic look to your garden space.farmstand

You can purchase wooden planters or you can easily build them with a few items from your hardware store. Pinterest has many DIY and how-to‘s  for building your own wooden planters. Re-purposed wood is also a great material option for planters. Reusing untreated wood allows for you to recycle used lumberrepurposed
that is still useful without throwing it away and wasting it. Wood pallets are an easy and readily accessible option for creating wooden planters. You can also re-purpose pre-existing wooden containers and use them as planters. whiskey barrel planterFor example, people often use half or full wooden whiskey barrels as planters.

There are many options when choosing the right wooden planter for your gardening space. Whether you purchase a wooden planter or make your own it’s important to research the different types of wood to find the one that fits your garden’s style.

 

 

By: Page Hallock

How to Choose a Planter: Planter Types and Materials

Trying to decide what’s the perfect material to suite your unique container gardening needs. Well here’s a crash course in the boons and benefits of the various materializations of some of MyPotsAndPlanters.Com’s most impressive products.

Resin, Vinyl and Plastic

Resin Vinyl Plastic

Synthetic materials are one of the most popular choices for planters for three simple reasons, their variety of style and design, they’re lightweight, and perhaps most importantly they’re inexpensive. Because they are made to imitate (and imitate quite well at that) other popular designs of material they are often preferable because of their weight and affordability. Perhaps the only hindrance of this material is that they aren’t equipped to host lighter plants in windy conditions for there is a chance of blowing over.

One of the more distinct synthetic styles comes from Amedeo Design, whose signature ResinStone material boasts an indistinguishable look from actual stone at a fraction of the weight. This is the perfect luxurious rendition of the typical synthetic planter with a heightened degree of authenticity.

Wooden Planters

Wooden

The classic, all-natural style has its own aesthetic charm that can perfectly match the rustic look of any garden. The three main types of wood used to create these planters are Teak, Cedar, and Redwood. While these three are naturally disinclined towards rot (Teak and Cedar more so than Redwood) they do naturally age. While the seasoned gray color that results can be a symbol of pride and naturality in your garden, various sealants and products might be necessary to prevent aging and cracking especially in redwood.

Fabric Planters

fabric

Fabric planters Burplay 2are actually a preferred method of growing vegetables for many gardeners. This is because the fabric allows greater root exposure to the
air increasing the quality of plant life. Accordingly, this is why at MyPotsAndPlanters.Com we are proud of our top notch selection of vegetable grow bags, because crop yield is almost always increased by using a fabric planter. Be sure to check out or high specialized tomato, potato and pepper grow bags.

Additionally, one of the premiere manifestations fabric planters can be found is in creatively recycled clothing or cloth products. For a quick example check out this unique use of old burlap sacks turned into cloth planters.

Metal Planters

Metal

Rugged, durable, modern and stylish, Metal Planters are the affordable bet hedging planter for the economical gardener. Depending on the style you’re looking for with your garden, a metal planter might just be the perfect option. Always dependable and durablethese planters never rot or splinter and can fit a unique and modern outdoor design ready to weather any conditions.

It’s important when planning for perfect garden that your planter’s material suites your needs. At MyPotsAndPlanters.Com we have all these materials and more at discounted prices with free shipping all while trying to supply them a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and designs to accentuate and complement your unique garden.

Container Gardening Online Communities

Here at MyPotsandPlanters.com we’re driven by a passion for container gardening. And while searching through the various social networks of the World Wide Web, we get shocked, awed and downright impressed by the innovative pots and planters people are making. This post will try to highlight some of this passion that permeates through these gardening communities that makes us proud to be in the container gardening business.

Tire Swing

Let’s start with a new way to look at your busted or bald tire. Why not turn it into a unique and distinct tire-swing planter for your favorite flowers? This unique hanging basket planter was pulled off of one of the perfect online destinations for the ambitious gardener, the Pretty Planters board on Pinterest curated by Barb Rosen in collaboration with HomeTalk.Com . This board is filled with creative gardening and planter tips and tricks as well as dozens of unique links to DIY projects.

wine bottle planter

Perhaps the most formidable and admirable container community on the web is the Container Gardening Alliance, created by University of Ghent botany professor Willem Van Cotthem. This community is booming with ideas, images and advice for any gardener ranging from the novice to the expert. For an example look no further then this unique way to recycle your empty wine bottles as one fine individual did to host his succulent plant garden. Ask yourself, what  says ‘gardening’ more so then an empty bottle of wine?

Since you’re using your empty wine bottle to host any number of flowers, why not use those left over corks? This wine cork mini garden taken of the DIY Garden Projects Community might just be the perfect use. It’s not just a creative and distinct piece of home décor; it’s also spatially economical and environmentally friendly.

Wine Cork

Truck Planter

Accordingly, if you have yourself a playful personality you must check out this post from the Garden Naturally Group, the toy dump truck planter. This is exactly the creative and personable gardening decisions that can add unique sense of personal care and vitality to complement the vibrancy of your garden.

 

Picket Fence Planter

While unconventional pots and planters are certainly awesome, sometimes one craves a more conventional project. There are many build your own planters tutorials out there, but if you’re looking for something traditional yet unique, feast your eyes on this picket fence planter pinned on the DIY Pots/Planters board on Pinterest. It’s the slightly more ambitious projects that show that sometimes making a unique planter takes some extra work, but as Rudyard Kipling once wrote, “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.”

Since we’re on the subject of hard work and home décor it would be tough not to mention this highly creative use of broken coffee mugs. Some ambitious individual took it upon themselves to mortar themselves up a chipped and broken coffee mug wall garden. It seems recycling, audacity and garden planters go well together according to the fine folks on the Container and Herb Gardening community on Google+.

Coffee Mug Wall Garden

No list could ever truly capture the breadth and imagination that exists in the many pockets and communities of the internet. But it is efforts and ideas like these that make container gardening such a rich and fulfilling endeavor. It is the same passion that fuels these communities that drive us at MyPotsAndPlanters.Com to match their creativity with quality and convenience  by providing the most comprehensive collection of pots and planters at the lowest possible cost, all with free shipping.

 

If there are any active and die hard gardening communities we missed please let us know!

Joe Brown

How to Plant and Maintain a Vertical Wall Garden

There is a new trend in the gardening world that incorporates modern design and age old gardening techniques that gives the typical planter a run for its money. Vertical Wall Gardening is turning gardening not upside down, but at least 90 degrees by using a part of your space that you never thought of using.

DIY indoor vertical wall garden
DIY indoor vertical wall garden

You can buy or make vertical wall gardens with little time and money. If you or making your own or buying a vertical wall planter there are some things to keep in mind so that you create a successful growing environment. When placing the vertical wall garden, whether it’s inside or out, you need to take into consideration the amount of light the plants are receiving.

outdoor wall garden
An example of an outdoor vertical wall vegetable garden

 

Depending on what plants you pick to grow in the wall garden, it is wise to know the direction the plants will grow. You should also know how big they will get so that they don’t overcrowd and die. With vertical wall gardens becoming more popular, gardeners are finding which plants can thrive in a vertical environment. A couple of these plants are, pothos, lipstick plant, sword fern, rabbit’s foot fern, cretan brake fern, wedding vine, peace lily, crotons, philodendron and many more. All these plants require less direct sunlight and are overall pretty hardy plants.

wall garden2
An indoor wall garden of succulents

One challenge of vertical wall gardens is the watering techniques required to maintain the garden. There are two easy ways to water wall plants. The first is the gravity-fed watering system where you water the top plants and the water trickles down to the plants below. This requires little installation, but doesn’t distribute water evenly.

Example of a smaller indoor vertical wall garden
Example of a smaller indoor vertical wall garden

The second option is the sub-irrigation system, which is placing hoses to different levels of the wall garden to provide water evenly throughout the garden. This option requires some installation, but once installed it doesn’t require any effort to water the garden.

Typical watering system for a vertical wall garden.
Typical watering system for a vertical wall garden.

With each watering system there is a chance of water spills, so if you chose to place your vertical wall garden inside, you should take into consideration the maintenance that is involved. Vertical wall gardens often discolor and stain interior walls, so protecting your walls with layers of plastic and other water repelling materials eliminates this hassle.  However, if you make sure to avoid over watering your garden there will be no issues with excess water. Now that you have the basics of vertical wall gardening, it is time to explore the possibilities of wall gardens in your space.

By: Page Hallock

Great Container Gardening Ideas and Growing in Planters