Clever outdoor container gardens are popping up everywhere these days. Gardening is no longer limited to rural areas. City gardeners use every inch of available space to grow fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes that entails coming up with unusual ideas for gardening in containers. Before we got our house, I was an apartment gardener. Through trial and error, I was able to make the most of my small space garden. Even now, I use unconventional container gardens to expand on my home garden. Here’s just a few that I’m working on this year.
When space is minimal, vining plants can be grown in pots. They just need something to climb up on. This year, I’m planting peas in large pots. I’ll fill the pot 1/3 of the way with compost. The other 2/3 contains loose potting soil. I’ll center a tomato cage in each pot for the peas to climb on. I’ll plant three peas next to each spoke of the tomato cage. When the peas start growing, they’ll climb the spokes and continue growing up the cage.
Bonus: It’s so easy to pick peas from the container, since you can walk all around it.
A few years back, I came across a cleverly made fountain base at an estate sale. It had areas on each side to plant in. I’ll still use it this year. I’m also thinking up ways to make my own container fountain pot. I’ll use an old bucket for the fountain base. I’ll invert a smaller bucket with intake holes inside the first to house the pump. If I centered the right size bowl on top it could hold rocks with the fountain tube coming up through the center. I’ll cut holes in the sides of the outer bucket and insert some angled pots to plant in.
Bonus: The water that feeds the fountain could also feed the plants, with some screening to keep dirt from clogging the works.
Kitty litter container garden
My daughter buys kitty litter in large buckets. I’m thinking they would make wonderful self watering containers. I’ll center a hole in the bottom of one and insert some perforated drain pipe. My partner is a plumber, so we have lots of it hanging around. I’ll also make a second hole off to one side. I’ll insert a piece of PVC pipe in that hole. It will be used to add water to the container. The first bucket will go inside another outer bucket. I’ll add dirt to the top bucket and pack it down into the drain pipe. If all goes well, the water in the bottom of the bucket will wick up to the plants as needed.
Bonus: No worries about over-watering, since the plants decide when they’re thirsty.
More from Jaipi:
Cheap or Free Seed Starting Containers
Container Gardening with the Three Sisters
Drainage for Potted Plants: Is One Hole Enough?