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Container Gardening in Small Spaces

There is absolutely no reason to cheat yourself out of the enjoyment of gardening because of limited space. Container gardening is more achievable than ever before.

Here are a few great ideas to consider. And don't forget that for best results you'll want to use a premium brand of potting soil. This helps to ensure the best level of water retention possible.

One-Pot Garden

One-pot gardens are just what the name implies, a variety of flowers and/or vegetables growing in a single container. Drill drainage holes in your desired container. Hint: a galvanized water trough is perfect for this. Fill it with dirt and plant things that go well together. One example of this is jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, chives, basil and plum tomatoes. Salsa, anyone?

Rain Gutter Garden

A rain gutter garden is quite ingenious when you think about it. Securely attach two or three rows of plastic rain gutters to the side of your house that receives the most sunlight. Placing the gutters high enough off the ground discourages pesky intruders. Fill with soil and plant whatever your heart desires. Save money and do your part to recycle by using salvaged gutters. In good condition, they work just as well as new ones.

Water Garden

Have you ever thought about "planting" a water garden? If digging in the dirt just isn't your thing, aquatic plants are for you. It's also a fun, low-maintenance project for your kids.

Any kind of waterproof container works. Simply fill it approximately three-quarters of the way full with marbles, florist foam, pebbles, sand, or something similar. Get creative and use your imagination. Add water and a small amount of liquid fertilizer.

Plants that work well in aquatic gardens include:

* Chinese evergreen

* Wandering Jew

* Philodendron

* English ivy

Square-Foot Gardening

Chances are that you've heard of square-foot gardening. The concept has been around for many years. The typical size of these above-ground planter boxes is 4 x 4 feet, although smaller sizes work just as well. The idea is to section off the box into individual square-foot sections and plant as much as you can in each square. You'll no doubt be pleasantly surprised at the size of your bounty.

It should be noted that your desired containers will yield more flowers and vegetables when you choose plants that grow vertically. This makes the best use of tight spaces.

It's also recommended that you include at least two or three focal points in your overall garden space. Believe it or not, this makes the area look bigger than it actually is. Consider things like small statues, groups of brightly colored flowers or an interesting birdhouse... the birds will love you for it.

Next time we'll look at how effective it can be to create different “rooms” in your garden.

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