Sunday, March 18, 2007

Container and Small Space Gardening

You can make your small gardening space or container come alive with an almost endless array of blooming plants. Sun or shade, or part of both, an in-ground garden, small or large containers, you can have it all!

For in-ground small space gardens: starting from scratch? Take things slowly in the beginning. Try to plan on paper and walk your garden space, perhaps laying down a hose(or two) to identify the size and shape you want, then use rocks, tools or empty pots to mark spaces where plants, shrubs or possibly a specimen tree will be placed. Remember to consider the size of the plant when it matures.

First consider the size of the garden you have to work with and try to resist the temptation to go out on May 1st and buy 22 plants then find out you can only use 15! Secondly, consider the orientation – does you garden space receive full sun, part sun, afternoon sun, part shade, all shade? Next week's article will contain a list of plants for all orientations. Third, consider your soil. If you're using a soil test kit at the Ag Center (670 Old Harrisburg Road, Suite 204, Gettysburg, Phone: 334-6271) and the results will tell you what it may need before you plant in it. Generally speaking, if you have a clay soil, you will need to add amendments like compost and other organic matter like peat. Is your soil sandy? Does water run right through it? You need amendments such as peat moss, manures, compost or organic matter. Using the stryrofoam makes the planter less heavy and easily moveable.

Container: your plant choices are much greater with container gardening. Too much sun? Just move the container. The great advantage of container gardening is Mobility. And just think – you can use one or more containers to hide some unsightly feature in your space such as a utility meter in the ground.

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