Craft Your Style 18 DIY Container Garden Ideas

Published on April 5th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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18 Container Garden Ideas (and how to keep your plants alive!)

18 DIY Container Garden Ideas

If you’re wanting to garden but are dealing with a small space or bad soil, check out these container garden ideas and tips to get you growing and keep those plants alive!

I know Garden Week doesn’t start until Monday, but I wanted to get a jump on talking about gardening goodness! My husband and I have a few fun projects in the works for our own garden, so I’ve been on the lookout for garden inspiration! We’re doing a mix of in-the-ground plantings, raised bed container gardening, and small containers. The container garden ideas below are getting me inspired for our own front- and back-porch gardens!

5 Keys to Container Gardening

I’ve killed a lot of plants, which might make you think I’m the last person who should give gardening advice. But for every plant death on my watch, I’ve learned a lot. There are five keys to container gardening that I’ve sorted out:

1. Choose the proper pot size for what you want to grow. You can’t grow tomatoes in an old yogurt container, because the plant’s roots need more space than that tiny container can provide. My rule of thumb when selecting a container is looking at how far apart the plant needs to be spaced in the dirt. If your plant needs 6″, then choose a 6″ round or square container to give the roots room to spread.

2. Make sure you have proper drainage. If you can’t drill holes into the bottom of your plant container, fill it up with a few inches of rocks or pebbles, so excess water can run off instead of drowning your plant.

3. Use the right soil. High quality potting soil is your friend. Don’t skimp!

4. Feed those suckers. Research your plants to see what sort of plant food they need and how often to feed them. You can also enrich the soil with compost, if you have a heap in your hard. Worried that you’ll neglect your new plants? See the next step!

5. Use a calendar. The #1 way that I’ve killed plants in my container garden is by neglecting them. This trick has kept my plants alive a whole lot longer. I once kept a lemon tree alive in a pot for years. YEARS! How did I do it? I followed steps 1-4 and used iCal to remind me to feed and water right on schedule. When I started ignoring my calendar reminders, my lemon tree bit it.

Happy lemon tree in its container!

18 Container Garden Ideas from Recycled Materials

1. 5 Gallon Bucket Gardening

2. Grow a Magical Fairy Garden

3. Upside-Down Tomato Planter

4. Plant a Shoe Garden

5. Build a Gutter Garden

6. Wine Box Garden

7. Plastic Bottle Herb Planters

8. Plastic Bottle Window Farm

9. Rain Boot Planters

10. Raised Bed from Reclaimed Wood

11. Bicycle Wheel Trellis

12. Teapot Garden

13. Hanging Tin Can Planters

14. Cement Block Planter

15. Reclaimed Pallet Planter

16. Citrus Peel Seed Starter

17. Used Cookware Planter

18. Colander Planter

Images: Shoe Garden by torroid, Bucket Garden by Square Foot Hydroponics, Magical Fairy Garden by Julie Finn, Lemon Tree by Becky Striepe


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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