3 Things to Consider Before Gardening With Used Containers

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Like many, you’ve probably dreamed about having a garden in your backyard. After all, it is a fantastic thing to step outside and garden whenever you want.

However, what if you don’t have a yard, but you do have some extra space, were given plants to transplant, and can get your hands on some used gardening containers? What should you know?

Some Tallahassee residents will often call asking for alternative ways they can garden, due to the lack of gardening space. That’s when we might recommend container gardening. Container gardening is fantastic.

All you need is a terracotta pot, summer bedding, and some green-fingered expertise and wah-lah, you just created your very own mini garden-scape.

At Dickerson Landscaping and Lawn Care, we specialize in complete landscaping and lawn care grooming across Leon County, but in this article, we’ll cover the three steps that every person needs to take before using any type of used garden container.

Your Used Gardening Container Inspection Checklist

1. Always thoroughly clean used containers

To help you create thriving container plantings inspect all used containers. When you find or are given a used container or terracotta pot, you must remove any signs of compost from the previous growing season. The reason for this washing step is to eliminate any possibility there are last year’s compost particles hiding diseases, mold spores, and pests.

To make sure you have a clean habitat for container growing, use a garden hose and wash off any old compost coverings. Next, submerge the used pot into the water with a garden disinfectant mixture.

As the pot is disinfecting, with a scrubbing brush, scrub every area of the container to remove any compost residue. Finally, thoroughly rinse the planter, inside and out, under running water, and then leave the pot to dry.

2. Always inspect the used garden container’s drainage

It’s easy to overlook this crucial step and assume the used pot has good drainage. However, that’s not always the case. Inspect your used container to guarantee there are enough drainage holes. If the planter has no drainage holes, or too few your plants will suffer from oxygen starvation.

To prevent any drainage holes getting blocked from compost, you can place a layer of broken terracotta pot pieces over the drainage holes. That does two things; it allows the water to drain freely and trims back on using too much potting compost.

3. Check that you have plenty of water space

Fill your terracotta container with standard peat or loam-based compost and then firm it lightly. Do not overfill your planter with the compost. You will need the necessary water space. When you fill the pot with compost, give yourself a 1-inch gap from the lip of the container down to the top of the peat. That gives you your watering space. Now you’re ready for replanting.

Here are three vital replanting points to keep in mind:

  • Several hours before you replant, plunge the existing plants in a container of water and thoroughly soak them. That water-absorbing step prevents plant shock and helps integrate the plant into its new compost container.

  • When replanting start in the center of the container. The hole you dig needs to be big enough for the rootball of the central plant. Examples of useful hardiness zone 8 central plants are the Phormium or Cordyline.

  • Wooden and unglazed terracotta planters do need more water because of their porous and absorbent nature. You can apply a mulch of mini-chip bark or gravel to the surface of the compost, as well as being decorative. That will reduce the loss of the container water through evaporation.

 We know there’s a lot here to take in, but if you take it one step at a time, you’ll be ready to enjoy your mini garden-scape in no time! If you don’t skip any of these steps, it will save time and money.

 At Dickerson Landscaping and Lawn Care, we specialize in complete landscaping and lawn care grooming. If you’re shopping around for landscaping or lawn care services, check out ours today.

If you found the 3 Things to Consider Before Gardening With Used Containers helpful, then check out our other article “8 First Time Fun and Kid-Friendly Gardening Tips.”