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Container Gardens

What is a Container Garden?

  • A container garden is a collection of one or many plants in containers.
  • Container gardens can be used on sidewalks, parking areas, back yards, rooftops and other impervious areas.

    Why Create a Container Garden?

  • Container gardens are an attractive addition to any deck or patio, developing a green outdoor oasis.
  • Container gardens offer a pervious space to capture rainfall that would otherwise end up in our storm sewers and local waterways.

    How to Create a Container Garden

  • Purchase or build planters (containers).
  • Drill holes in the bottom of the containers if they are not already
    there. (Planters must contain holes in their base or an overflow
    mechanism so the plants do not drown during rain storms.)
  • Choose native drought and saturation-tolerant plants and trees for low maintenance and minimal watering.
  • Fill the planter with soil to 2 inches below the top of the planter.
  • Use a mix of soil appropriate to the plant. Ornamental and native
    plants will thrive in potting soil or topsoil, whereas vegetable plants
    and herbs require a mix of potting soil and compost/organic matter.
  • If you re-plant annually, turn or till the soil once a year to improve infiltration.
  • Place container plants along the perimeter of a home or building to
    catch stormwater runoff from the roof and reduce watering needs.

  • Photo: Miriam Manon

    For More Information
    Gardening Guides: Guide to Container Gardening
    Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: Growing Herbs in Containers
    New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station: Container Gardening with Vegetables

    University of Minnesota: How to Container Garden
    Ehow Home: Container Garden Design
    Cooking Up a Story: Growing Salad Bowls


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