It’s easy to grow edibles and nonedibles in one container. Here’s how to create a beautiful arrangement that adds flavor to your outdoor space.
By Sabra Morris Photos by David Croxford Featured Supplier: Tropical Garden Accents 52 Ć SEPTEMBER 2010 Ć hawaiihomeandremodeling.com
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Many people think of vegetable and flower gardens as separate. In fact, you can combine them in one large pot for a beautiful and delicious arrangement. When it comes to plant combinations, the possibilities are endless. “Have fun with it,” says Dave Staub of Tropical Garden Accents. “It really is an individual thing.”
Start with the right pot. Head to a local retailer or
wholesaler, such as Tropical Garden Accents, that specializes in outdoor containers. Consult with an expert who can help you choose a pot conducive to growing a small garden. You can plant your combo in anything from a tabletop- or windowsill-size planter to a waist-high urn. Just make sure the plants you choose are appropriate for the size you’ve selected. Another tip: Make sure your pot has proper drainage. For large pots, drainage holes should be at least 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide. If the pot you desire doesn’t have a drainage hole, a salesperson should be able to drill one for you. Keep excess water from entering the ground by setting your pot on a raised drainage platform (sometimes called a “down-under”), available at local hardware stores, or by setting it in a saucer (shown at right).
Layer your soil. Successful container gardening requires
more than filling a pot with soil. To ensure proper drainage, use a rocky bottom layer, such as white marble, which is available in the home and garden section of your local retail store. Line the bottom of your pot with rock, then follow with a layered mixture of basic potting soil and a lighter drainage material, such as cinder.
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Plan your design before planting, and mix it up!
One of the easiest design shapes to master is the cone, according to Staub. â€œPut something taller in the middle and put color on the side,â€? he advises. Our arrangement features a shishito sweet pepper in the middle, surrounded by cilantro and marigold at the base. For added interest, we used lemonlime pothos as a â€œspiller.â€? Its bright yellow leaves will spill over the edge of the pot as it grows, creating a lush effect. Remember, most potted plants grow surprisingly well next to other varieties. However, to ensure your plantsâ€™ health and growth, run your arrangement by the storeâ€™s garden expert before purchasing. â€œPlan your design right on the tray,â€? Staub says. Take your plants of choice and arrange them on a gardenshop tray the same way youâ€™d arrange them in a pot. Itâ€™s a great way to analyze both plant height and color.
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BETTER TOGETHER: If youâ€™re looking for edible and flower groupings that thrive in containers, Staub recommends picking up Easy Container Combos: Vegetables & Flowers, by Pamela Crawford (from $9.99, amazon.com). Inside: the 18 easiest vegetables to grow in containers and more.
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A Pot for Every Plant You can grow edibles and nonedibles in containers of many shapes and sizes. Here are a few great ideas from Tropical Garden Accents:
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