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Creating your own container garden

(KTUU)
Published: May. 24, 2020 at 8:19 PM AKDT
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Container gardens work well for homes or apartments without a lot of space or if you just don’t want to tend to a large garden. Almost anything can be used as a container—pots, barrels, even boxes—but Jocelyn Bocachica, assistant production manager with P&M Garden Services, says your container must have good drainage.

“First, good drainage and the location you're going to put the container,” says Bocachica. “Is it going to be sun or shade? Then you decide the size you want to maintain. The smaller the container, the more watering it will take. It tends to dry out faster and if your container's too large, sometimes if you wanted to move it, it's very difficult.”

Then pick the plants you want to put in your garden. We focused mainly on flowers but it’s easy to slip in an herb or two.

“In your design, you can be monochromatic. It doesn't mean exactly the same red, but if you like reds, for the flowers or the foliage,” she says. “You want some different textures to give it some interest.”

Bocachica started with what she refers to as “an old chestnut," saying you need a “thriller, filler, and a spiller.“

Bocachica says there is more to design than that but it gives people a place to start.

She describes what she means by the “thriller.”

“You want a point of interest, your main attraction with some height,” she says. “We do grasses fountain grasses, cannas, anything that has some kind of height. The filler is something that's mounding, to take up some of the space.” She says it should be blooming but not as tall as your central item.

The “spiller” is something that overhangs like vines, something to hang down.

When it comes to putting the plants in the container, she starts with balanced potting soil, something with good drainage but the water won’t run right through. She puts some soil in the bottom of the pot and begins placing the plants.

“I start with our centerpiece but I kind of like to not have it completely in the center,” she says, setting the cannas a little off-center. “I'd like to have to the side a little bit but it's all preference.”

She places the other plants around the container but doesn’t add any more soil until she’s happy with the arrangement. Once she’s happy with the placement, she adds soil to fill in the spaces and waters it well.

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