Metal Garden Planters – Instant Garden Elegance!

Metal garden planters add instant elegance to any yard. These shiny and long-lasting planters make great containers for any type of plant.

These Planters Have Metal
Metal are the longest-lasting planter you can purchase. These are also the only planters that get more beautiful as they age. Metal is an ideal choice for winter planters because the metal keeps heat inside. But this tendency to retain heat also makes a poor choice for warm climates or summertime. Also, because of their weight, they have to be used for fairly permanent plants or to anchor heavier ones.

Despite some drawbacks, metal can be an excellent choice because it adds elegance to your garden that other planters lack. Metal is also a great choice for inside pots. They will be less affected by weather changes and still maintain their beauty. A great choice for inside is a wrought iron wall planter and elevated urns.

Another idea is to use silver pots and urns to draw attention to particular spots in your garden. The little areas in your garden or patio will stand out and emphasize whatever you decide to plant there. Another idea is to use a metal trough to create a flower bed. You could then plant small plants in a rectangle around the trough.

Maybe you can think of more ways to use metal planters in your garden. But whether you choose to use these planters inside or outside, you’ll definitely be adding elegance to your environment.

Cedar Planters – A Gift From Nature!

Cedar Planters are an excellent choice for any garden. These planter boxes are made from cedar, which is naturally weather resistant and stable.

The Ideal Wood

Gardeners with plans for an organic garden should choose cedar because it is safe for both you and the environment. Because cedar is a resilient wood that is naturally weather and water resistant, it does not need to be chemically treated for outside use. Organically, cedar will resist rotting or cracking like other woods. This makes cedar an excellent choice for any of your garden or outside needs. You can use cedar in your planters, boxes, your deck, patio furniture, or outside railings and lattices. Cedar is also lightweight enough to be used in hanging planters.

A cedar planter box is ideal for extreme climates – whether hot or cold. Unlike garden planters and patio planters made from other materials, cedar planters will insulate your soil and the plant’s roots from the climate changes. This is why cedar boxes have been used in trunks and blanket boxes. This will also protect you and your family from being burned by the sun if you use cedar in your deck or patio furniture. These planters also have an odor that is pleasant to humans but unpleasant to insects. This makes cedar an organic insect repellant – perfect for gardeners that want to avoid using chemical pesticides.

Cedar is the ideal wood for any gardener that is looking for a long-lasting patio and garden. A cedar deck is an ideal way to keep you and your family safe and cedar style planters are an ideal way to keep your plants safe.

Wooden Mailbox Planters – Recycle Your Old Mailbox

Wooden mailbox planters are an interesting and quirky way to brighten up your patio or garden outdoor space.  A mailbox planter can also be a great way to recycle and reuse your old mailbox.

Recycle And Reuse

If you are thinking of either making or buying a new wooden mailbox and are not sure what to do with the old one, then why not try turning it into a decorative garden planter.  Garden planters are available in countless shapes, sizes, and materials but having a homemade planter in either your front or back yard can add an extra touch of character and individuality to your outdoor space.

Turning your old mailbox into a planter is easy. Simply remove the top, close up the mail slot, and plant away.   Your new planter will however, last much longer if you take the a few extra steps. Drilling a succession of water drainage holes in the bottom of the mailbox, will prevent rotting. You can also avoid unnecessary damage from weathering by using a liner or place your plant pots inside your mailbox to hold your chosen flowers or plants. This way your mailbox is protected.

Your mailbox planters will look great planted with vibrantly colored flowers and trailing plants and if watering the garden is one of the children’s chores, then putting the mail flag up or down might also be a good way for them to indicate that this chore is complete.

Planter Liners – Make Your Planters Last Longer

Planter liners are the ideal way to ensure that the planter you have painstakingly chosen for your garden lasts as long as possible. In cold weather, the soil used in your planters contracts and expands. Over time, if your planter boxes are not protected, this expansion and contraction can lead to cracks and unnecessary wear and tear.

Defeating The Cold Weather With A Planter Liner

Choosing to plant your flowers in secondary plastic containers, otherwise known as liners enables you to avoid this problem.  The liner helps to absorb any possible damage from cold weather and prevents damage to your pots.

Outdoor wooden containers and planters, such as antique whiskey barrel planters also suffer from this form of weather damage.  This can eventually lead to the wood warping. You will find however that a whiskey barrel planter liner will help to minimise any such damage.

The majority of liners tend to be made from plastic although there are liners available in steel, copper and other metals. These liners are sold at most garden centers and nurseries and are well worth investing in if you are buying garden planters.

If you are looking to buy a new planter box or container, then you will probably discover that a great many of the more decorative planters actually come complete with their own liners. These liners are usually removable for easy cleaning before planting. If you are replacing a dead plant you should always ensure that the liner is removed and cleaned before reusing your planter.

Deck Rail Planters – Brighten Up Your Deck

Deck rail planters are the perfect way to add a little pizzazz to your boring deck rails.  These planters are available in many different materials and styles, and are the perfect planter for a multitude of garden plants.

Your Choices

Choices regarding your style of rail planter box should always be made with the overall style of your garden in mind. If you have, or are planning to build, a sanded deck of white pine then you will not wish to combine this with rustic old world themed planter boxes. Ideally, also, the deck planters you choose for your railings should complement the planters you have in the rest of the garden. If you have whiskey barrel garden planters in the main garden, it is best not to choose brushed aluminum planters for your rails.

Planters made from resin, fiberglass and also plastic planters are perhaps the most ideal choice of material for your railings.  These are quite light but also very durable. Many garden planters are made of PVC and not only are these extremely low maintenance, but they also have a special UV covering which helps to protect them in harsh weather.

Railing planters come with handy instructions for how to best attach them and can be planted with a wide range of flowers and trailing plants. For something a little different, try planting your planters with strawberries, tomatoes or salad herbs such as basil or oregano.

Wrought Iron Planters – Strong on Design!

Wrought iron planters are one of the most stylish of garden planters. But don’t be fooled by their elegant appearance, these planters are as tough as any other metal planter.

Ironing Out The Details
One of the most exciting things about a wrought iron planter is that they come in a large variety of designs. The metal can be hammered with intricate designs or made simple for elegance. This iron can be shaped into boxes, baskets, or even hanging wall planters. Wrought iron is an extremely popular choice for the patio.

One of the most popular uses for wrought iron is as a window planter. The iron brings elegance to the outside of your house and complements almost any architectural style or color. As a window planter, it will need a lining. Many gardeners recommend coconut husks as a lining.

But the designs and elegance aren’t the only good things about using wrought iron.  Wrought iron lives up to the reputation of iron by being one of the most durable planter materials especially for outdoors. Unlike wood, you don’t have to worry about iron rotting. And unlike plastic, terra cotta, or clay, wrought iron won’t crack or break. So not only are you getting one of the most stylish planters available, you’re also getting one of the most durable. With these two great features, it’s no surprise why so many gardeners use wrought iron for their planters and window boxes.

Planter Urn – Not Just For The Garden

Adding a planter urn to your garden or patio is perhaps the simplest way to add a decorative touch to your outside space. Garden planters, such as a urn or containers can be either free standing or mounted on a pedestal for added effect.

Choosing The Perfect Urn

The type and style of material you choose for your planter urn should depend on the overall style of the garden you have chosen. A cherub urn planter, for example would look fantastic in any vintage or Victorian style garden, especially if chosen in black wrought metal or bronze.

Garden planters come in all shapes, materials and sizes. If you are considering choosing a very large stone model, it would be best to check if your vendor is willing to offer free shipping or delivery.

Patio planters often tend to be slightly smaller than the garden urn, and you can find some beautiful decorative urns that are also suitable for indoor use.  These are available in a wide range of styles and a metal urns placed indoors can add a touch of class especially when filled with dried flowers or pampas grass.

A Copper Urn can also be used both indoors and outdoors and these urns look great filled with vibrant flowers or a trailing plant and would be equally at home on an indoor table top or on a pedestal in the garden.

No matter what style of planter, container or urn you choose for your home or garden, it is what you put inside it that really makes the difference.

Organic Fertilizers Are Easier On The Environment

Organic fertilizer is plant food that has been created using the natural carbon in plants and animals. Often organic fertilizers are made from plant and animal byproducts or waste products. Organic liquid fertilizers are also made from natural elements and can even be made at home (as fertilizing ‘teas’) using various natural substances like compost and egg shells.

Organic fertilizer carries the same number formula that synthetic fertilizers do. These three numbers, which are always separated by dashes (such as 12-24-10), refer to the three major nutritional elements in plant food: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Sometimes this ratio is abbreviated as N-P-K (the ‘K’ stands for potassium) or is just called the ‘N-P-K’ ratio.

So, for example, an organic fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 12-24-10 is made of 12% nitrogen, 24% phosphorus, and 10% potassium. Understanding the percentage of each nutrient in the mixture is important because each one feeds a different part of the plant.

Nitrogen feeds the leaves and foliage of the plant and makes the plant green. Blood meal is an example of an organic fertilizer that is very high in nitrogen. Bat, rabbit, and bird guano are also organic fertilizers that are very high in nitrogen.

Phosphorus feeds the part of the plant that creates a strong root system and encourages lots of buds and flowers. Phosphorus is also good for encouraging fruit to set. An organic fertilizer that is naturally high in phosphorus is bone meal.

Finally, potassium is necessary for the overall health and proper functioning of all plants, whether they are mostly flowers or mostly leaves. Potassium is usually the least plentiful element in any organic fertilizer. A good example of an organic compound that is rich in potassium is pot ash or charcoal.

Some organic fertilizers contain biochar, a charcoal-like substance high in potassium and other plant nutrients that is created by burning plant material and using the ash as food. All organic fertilizers are required to show the percentage of each nutrient that is synthetic and the percentage that is organic after each N-P-K number so the buyer knows how high the organic carbon content really is.

Organic fertilizers are easier on the environment and contain fewer artificial chemicals than synthetic fertilizers. Make sure you know what kind of fertilizer formula is best for the specific plant you want to feed. A high nitrogen fertilizer encourages strong leaf growth. A high phosphorus fertilizer is good for flowers and root systems.

A good all-purpose organic fertilizer will have a ration of roughly 1-2-1. Look for a high middle number when in doubt, and make sure you research your plant and the organic fertilizer best suited for its specific needs before you buy.

How to Choose the Best Potting Soil for your Container Garden

Container gardening is lots of fun, but if you start with the wrong potting soil it’s difficult to get the results you want. Hanging garden planters need a lighter soil mix than window boxes, and both potting mixes differ from the kind of soil that’s best for deep shade containers. Starting with the right soil will go a long way towards insuring that the money you spend on plants and pots is not wasted, so don’t skimp on this basic and crucial element.

Potting soil comes in both organic and non-organic mixes. Both can be used for container gardening, but only organic potting mixes can be successfully reused. Non-organic potting soil is a sterile mixture of rich black hummus, peat, manure, and fertilizing agents combined to accommodate a specific gardening use for a single season. After that first usage, non-organic mix must be discarded.

Container plantings are artificial environments in which seasonal plants only have access to whatever nutrients you provide for them in the form of soil and plant food. For this reason, non-organic potting mix is too depleted at the end of a growing season to be reused. However, non-organic mix is usually less expensive than organic mix, and it is perfectly good for growing gorgeous container plants.

Organic potting mix contains living microbiotic agents that contribute to healthy soil and are derived from natural materials. At the end of the growing season you can dump organic mix on your garden beds or save it for re-use the following year. With organic potting soil you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are using natural, ecologically friendly materials that can be safely recycled. With non-organic mix you get to start fresh each year with clean, rich soil.

Never use ordinary garden soil to pot up your containers or hanging planters. The soil in your yard may or may not be rich enough to sustain annuals in a pot or window box, and it will almost certainly be of the wrong consistency. Soil from your yard may also harbor viruses or bugs that can kill or weaken your plants.

For full sun plantings, look for a medium weight prepackaged potting mixture that holds water well. Many potting soils are available for specific indoor and outdoor potting conditions. If you’ve never planted your own containers before, it’s a good idea to look for one of these special mixes. Some of them come with fertilizer already added to give your plants a good head start.

Shade plantings and hanging baskets can take a lighter potting soil, and shade baskets can take the lightest mix of all. If you choose a very heavy potting mix for shade gardens, they can become waterlogged, causing the roots to rot. If you choose too light a mix for full sun plants, the soil will dry out so quickly the plants will not be able to get the nutrients they need.

If you keep a compost pile or bin, container plants will benefit from the occasional addition of a little compost the same way your garden does. Just work a little in between the roots. You can also make a ‘compost tea’ for watering by mixing a little compost with water and pouring it on the soil. Your plants will love this. If you don’t already have a compost pile, you can do the same thing with sterile manure that you purchase in 40 pound bags at the garden center.

Look for a potting mix with fertilizer already included, and follow the instructions on the bag with regard to future feeding. Most container plants like to be fed regularly with a high-nitrogen and high-phosphorus fertilizer like Fertilome or Miracle Grow.  You can purchase fertilizer spikes that you stick in the pot to dissolve slowly, or slow-release granules that you sprinkle on top of the soil, or liquid that you dilute and use for watering.

Stay away from the ultralight mix that is often used in garden centers for hanging baskets. This potting mix is composed almost completely of sphagnum moss and peat and is used only because it makes the hanging planters easy to tote around the garden center and lightweight to ship by truck. Once you get the planter home however, this kind of mix dries out very fast and will quickly frustrate you (and your plants) on hot sunny days.

If you plan to make up lots of containers, you can mix up your own all-purpose potting soil by combining four parts standard bagged garden soil (from your garden center or home improvement store), two parts compost or peat, and one part coarse bagged sand. (If you like, the two parts compost or peat can be all or part bagged manure).

You can mix this up in any quantity you like so long as the proportions stay roughly the same and use it for almost any application. For a lighter mixture to use in hanging planters, take the finished all-purpose mix and add a little sphagnum moss (about one half of the amount of soil) for more volume and less weight.

Before you buy your potting soil, take a look at all the information available online about homemade and ready-made potting mixes. That way when you go out to buy, you will already have a good sense of what is available and what you will need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and by all means, have fun!

Gardening is serious stuff, but in the end, it’s not really all that hard. Once you get the hang of creating your own container gardens by using the best soil you can buy or make, you’ll feel like a garden professional in no time!

How to Have Fun with Container Gardening – The Basics

Container gardening doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. In fact, with the a little knowledge, the right tools, and a few tips and tricks, anyone can create beautiful container gardens. Whether it’s hanging baskets you love, or colorful metal garden planters filled with fragrant petunias, getting started is easy and fun.

Start by deciding where you want to place your homemade container garden. Depending on whether you place your garden in direct afternoon sun, partial shade, or full shade, you will want to choose plants and containers that work well under the conditions you select.

If you are creating full sun containers, choose plants that grow well in afternoon light and heat, such as daisies, petunias, marigolds, alyssum, and any other annuals that have a full sun logo on the plant tag. Choose a soil mix that is heavy enough to hold water for more than a moment (not too much peat or sphagnum moss), and a container with a matching drainage dish.

Clay pots are especially good for full sun conditions because they absorb water and release it slowly into the soil itself. Because you will be watering your full sun planting frequently, you will need good drainage. Ideally, you should have a small hole in the bottom of the pot or container (whatever it is made from) and a dish to set it on to collect the excess water.

When planting a full sun pot, first place some rocks or stones about one fifth of the way up the bottom of the pot, then fill the pot with potting mix. Place your tallest plants in the center of the pot or towards the back, the shorter ones around those, and any trailing plants or foliage around the edge.

It’s easy to over-plant any container when you are first getting started. Keep in mind that your flowering plants will grow larger and will spread, so read the tags and leave an appropriate amount of space around them so they can do that. Container plants can be placed a bit closer together than plants in an open garden bed, but you still need to leave room for them to reach their full size.

Water your plants using a high-phosphorus root-stimulating plant food to get them off to a good start. (If you don’t keep a supply of liquid root stimulator on hand, ask your garden center professional to direct you to a good product. Many are available.) Once your container gardens are established (usually within a week or two) you can switch them to a plant food specifically designed to encourage container blossoms.

Full sun planters should be checked for water every single day. Stick a finger into the soil about an inch down. It should feel moist. Other signs that container plants need water are drooping leaves and flowers or crunchy leaf edges and brown leaves.

Some plants will literally ‘deflate’ when they need water and look as though they are dead, but they plump back up within minutes once you water them. Other plants will indeed die if you neglect them even once. Don’t make your plants ‘ask’ for water this way. Keep an eye on them daily and keep the soil evenly moist.

Pinching off spend blossoms will encourage new ones, so when you water, gently remove dead flower heads with your thumb and forefinger, or carry a small pair of garden scissors to keep them trimmed and clean. This practice will also discourage insects and disease.

Partial and full shade container gardens can be planted up the same way and sunny ones, but you can use a slightly lighter potting mix for full shade since it will hold water longer.

Potting mixes are now available that are made specifically for sun or shade container garden conditions. It’s a really good idea to spend a few extra dollars for one of these specific mixes, especially if you’ve never worked with container gardens before. Many even contain plant food so you don’t have to feed them or worry about the correct kind of fertilizer.

One word of warning: plants that like full shade may die in full sun, so keep this in mind when choosing which plants to include. Plants that are happy with partial shade are often fine in full sun, depending on how you care for them and how hot the sun gets in your part of the country.

Keep in mind that a container is an artificial environment that is affected by heat more quickly that a traditional garden bed. In general, partial sun plants are happier with morning and evening sun that they are with full-on afternoon heat and light.

Before choosing your container gardening plants, check the many online plant catalogues and gardening resources and educate yourself on what is available in your area and what works. The best way to guarantee success when planting in a container or a bed is to understand your plants and their needs and make sure you select the right plants for the right place.

Once you’ve made your selections, water your container garden and enjoy it! It’s easier than you think, and it’s a great way to bring a little color into your life.