How to Prepare a Container Garden

Discover how to choose and prepare creative containers for your favorite plants.

Unusual containers for your plants will make your gardening projects interesting. Any object that has sides can be used, so keep an eye out for possible ones to recycle and reuse. Whatever container you use, prepare it by using the following steps.

Materials Needed:

  • containers, such as recycled food and drink cartons, shoes or an old watering can
  • drill (adult supervision will be required)
  • liner with holes (optional)
  • gravel or expanded polystyrene
  • potting soil

1. Choose Your Container

Consider recycling food and drink containers, or reusing old and broken objects, like a watering can or teapot. Old boots and shoes work well too. When deciding what container would be best to use, think about the height and space the plants will need when they are fully grown.

2. Make Holes, Then Add Gravel Layer

Whatever container you use, prepare it by following these steps:

Ask an adult to make some holes in the base (Image 1). This will allow excess water to seep out. Use a liner with holes in if needed.

Put a layer of gravel or broken pots in the base (Image 2). This stops the soil from running out of the holes with the water. You could also use pieces of expanded polystyrene that small plants are bought in from garden centers.

3. Add Potting Soil

Fill New Planter With Soil

Fill New Planter With Soil

Photo by: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Ready Set Grow! , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fill the container with suitable potting soil. Most plants are happy with all-purpose potting soil, but others have specific requirements.

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