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admin | Category: Shipping Container Construction | 24.09.2014
Add decorative pebbles, rocks, pine cones, or whatever to make your terrarium look like a little garden world.
Container gardening allows you to have and enjoy many ornamental and food supplying plants that, for whatever reason, you do not want to grow in ground beds. Planting InstructionsFill the container with potting soil to within about two inches of the top of the rim.
Overwintering Container-grown PlantsThe main issue with having container-grown herbaceous or woody plants outside all yearlong is their hardiness (tolerance to low winter temperatures). Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For example, you could plant all succulents (including cactus), because they need very little water. For example, aquarium of any size, goldfish bowl, cookie jar, pickle jar, vase with a broad bottom, brandy snifter, or even a shallow dish with a glass bowl turned upside-down over it. When you remove them from their little pots, carefully tease the roots apart and remove some of the old soil so they will fit nicely in the terrarium.
The container has just a small opening or sometimes even a lid to completely enclose the container.
You can use containergrown plants in entryways, patios, decks, rooftops, gardens, indoors, or anywhere you have a need to add a living component to enhance the appeal of an area. Make a hole in the soil large enough to accommodate the root ball of the plant you are placing in the container. There are two things to know about container-grown plants staying outside during the winter.
But if you see a lot of water condensing on the lid, remove it for a while, then replace it.
Take the purchased plant out of its container and inspect it for circling roots, those roots which wrap around the soil ball. 1) Since the container is above ground, the container temperature (and hence plant temperature) will be the same as the ambient temperature.
Sunlight enters through the glass and warms the air, soil and plants the same way that sunlight coming through the atmosphere warms Earth’s surface.
Place a piece of screen or mesh material over the drainage hole(s) to keep the soil in the container. A small degree of circling is acceptable, but if you have a plant with a lot of circling, then tease these circling roots from the root ball.
If you put a fern with a cactus, one or the other might not do well (the fern if it gets too dry, the cactus if it gets too wet).
Insert the plant into the hole, firm the potting soil around the root ball, making sure that the top of the root ball and surface of the potting soil are at the same level. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
If you have a container without holes, either drill holes in the bottom, or place the plant in a growing container with bottom holes inside the first container.


Water the plant and surrounding potting soil thoroughly.Watering and Potting SoilA main issue with growing plants in containers is that the potting soil (usually a peat or bark-based soil) holds only a short-term water supply (one to several days).
Its reservoir capacity (days of water supply) is affected by the plant species, number of plants, and the location (sun vs.
But its roots are not nearly as hardy as its shoot system (above-ground portion) and they may be damaged or killed by low winter temperatures. Be prepared to remove the growing container from the decorative pot during periods of high rainfall to avoid flooding the pot.The size of the container depends on the size of the plants you are growing. Thus, if one wants to have a plant survive outside exposed to the minimum winter temperatures, then the rule of thumb is to select a species that is two USDA hardiness zones lower than the zone in which you live. A small container (a half-gallon or less) will accommodate a few small plants such as herbs, whereas a large container (three-gallon or more) will accommodate large plants such as tomatoes or even small trees.Most any type of plant can be grown in a container to showcase foliage, flowers, and fruits (see photos 1 through 5).
You may also overwinter your plants by putting them in a garage or some other structure that is cold but not below freezing (32˚F). Tropical plants, conventionally used as indoor plants, are becoming quite popular for outdoor use as annuals. Thus, seedlings grown in a flat (shallow tray) or any other shallow container will require less frequent watering than plants in a tall container.
Of course, annuals, tender perennials, or tropical plants are not suited to low-temperature exposure and these will have to have an inside sunny location to survive the winter.Terra cotta containers and other such porous materials exposed to freezing conditions will have a relatively short life since they will crack and shatter. These very showy plants, such as banana and mandevilla vine, offer an attractive and lush presentation. A well-drained potting soil can be used in shallow containers to avoid the problem of staying too wet. To avoid this problem, use fiberglass, plastic, stone, or other nonporous containers.Container gardening offers many advantages to gardeners. When using more than one species in a container, remember to vary their size, form, color, and texture to maximize the plant combination appeal.
Porous containers such as terra cotta will dry out faster than glazed or plastic containers.There are a variety of commercial potting soils that vary from dense and very moisture-retentive to light and well-drained.
Perhaps the biggest advantage is allowing us to have plants of any type wherever we choose. Taller plants are usually placed in the center of the container, with shorter or trailing plants placed near the sides. Your choice of potting soil will depend on the type and size of plants you use and the location of the container.
Also remember to match plants based on their cultural needs (light and water requirements).
You can use a commercially available soil water-content monitoring device to determine when to water your plants; or you can easily determine water content by probing the soil with your finger or by lifting the container and judging soil water content by the relative weight of the container.
You can make raised beds simply by mounding the soil into a growing bed or by constructing them with sides made of wood or other materials.
Your container composition is limited only by your imagination, available growing conditions, and the size and maneuverability of the container. If a potting soil is kept too moist, then the pore spaces in the soil will be filled with water and roots will suffer from a lack of oxygen. This increased drainage is especially helpful when growing plants in low-lying or poorly drained areas.


Most mineral soils (the soil native to your garden) are not suitable for containers since they retain too much water. If your native garden soil has a high clay content, then the soil will take a long time to drain and may stay too wet for those species that require good drainage.
An exception to this is a sandy soil.Water-absorbing polymer products are marketed for containergrown plants that claim to reduce watering frequency. Most research has shown limited benefits, if any, of using these products in container soil mixes.Fertilizing PlantsContainer-grown plants need fertilizer.
2) The soil in raised beds will warm up faster in the spring (since they are better drained) than that at level ground.
This will allow for earlier planting in the spring, effectively extending the growing season.
In this type of fertilizer, nutrients are encased in small bead-like capsules (or sometimes in sticks), which release fertilizer to the potting soil slowly over time. Alternatively, you can use soluble fertilizers, which usually come in a dry form and then are dissolved in water and applied to the potting soil. 4) There is no need for pathways between rows, as there is for level-round gardening, thus you can achieve a higher plant density.
For both types of fertilizer, follow product recommendations for the amount and frequency of application. With any fertilizer, especially soluble fertilizers that are applied frequently, there is a risk of fertilizer build-up in the soil, which can be toxic to plant roots. 5) Beds are more easily maintained than ground beds since the increased height of the bed reduces bending distance.The height of the bed will depend on the amount of drainage needed or access issues. To avoid this, make sure to water your plants thoroughly between every other fertilization.Trough gardensTrough gardens are becoming a very popular type of container gardening. You can construct raised beds so that the soil level is at a height in which plants are easily accessible to individuals who use ambulatory devices, are sight impaired, or can not easily bend down. Gardeners, being the resourceful people they are, recycled these to use as container gardens, often for alpine plants, dwarf conifers, or other rock-garden plants. Most of these plants require good drainage, so a potting soil that drains well (is not too water-retentive) is required. Research at Texas A&M found that arsenate compound movement in soils was insignificant. However, in 2003, the lumber industry voluntarily adopted a resolution to use an arsenic-free preservative. Consumers should buy alkaline copper quarternary (ACQ) treated lumber in lieu of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) or ammoniacal copper arsenate (ACA).Raised beds, while requiring a high initial labor input, offer improved growing conditions and advantages compared to the existing soil.
You can create interesting mini-landscapes by using a combination of plants, rocks, and moss (see photos 6 and 7).



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