Lazy Gardening: Container planting offers convenience, greater flexibility
Most of my efforts on expanding backyard plantings focus on container planting for the following reasons:
Container planting requires less weeding: A limited amount of encased soil topped with a layer of mulch requires less weeding than a flower bed. That frees up time for other activities.
Container planting affords flexibility: A flower may grow better in a different location, or look better next to a different plant. It’s much easier to move containers until you’re satisfied with the results than it is to repeatedly transplant flowers or other plants.
Container planting doesn’t require much space: I have a large backyard, but container planting also works well for someone whose outdoor space is limited to a balcony or entry area.
Caveat: A container plant requires more regular watering, but there’s a fairly easy solution for that. The plant container absorbs heat. That raises soil temperature, which hurts the plant’s roots. More regular watering is needed to cool the soil and keep the plant from dying.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to address that issue. Just take an empty plastic food bottle you would otherwise toss in the trash or recycling bin. Drill holes on the bottom half of one side of it (bottom picture left). Embed the bottle in the container soil when you pot the plant, with the holed side facing the plant and its roots.
For watering, open the cap (bottom picture right), fill the embedded bottle with water and then close the cap . All the water will slowly drain out at the root level, where the plant needs it most.
How often do container plants need to be watered? That depends upon climate, time of year and lessons learned from trial and error.
My container plants get watered every other day during periods when the afternoon highs regularly top 90 degrees. During cooler periods, watering gets done every third or fourth day.
Container planting represents one more way to get additional pleasure from gardening without also adding a corresponding amount of work.
Richard Buse is a Dallas-Fort
Worth area freelance writer with more than 25 years’ professional experience.
For more information regarding his background and services, contact him