Metal or plastic planters, wooden half-barrels or boxes, and concrete or cast stone pots can be the beginning of all great container garden ideas — then add overflowing amounts of flowers, green plants, herbs and vegetables.
Container gardening adds flexibility to your existing landscape design and gives you the opportunity to enjoy more seasonal plants on your backyard deck or patio. You can create container gardens as the focal point of your landscaped garden, sit them up on pedestals or attach them to your window sill. Container gardening is perfect for those looking for small backyard ideas to beautify their outdoor space as you can go vertical planter pockets or containers that can hang from the wall.
There is no limit to the creativity and type of container garden ideas you may create and they can fit into any garden design. At Ryan Lawn & Tree, we love creating perfect outdoor living spaces for you and your family to enjoy, so we’ve compiled the facts you need to know to build four of the most popular types of container gardens we know you will love!
Many families hold on to a spring tradition of planting floral containers with annuals that brighten every day. Whether you are planting flowers at grandma’s house or making your own outdoor space beautiful, container flower gardens are fun and easy to create.
Best container locations: Containers on backyard decks, and patios add a tranquil beauty to your outdoor space to enjoy. Add floral container garden on front porches, in between garage doors or along the front sidewalk as a welcoming gift to all who visit. They can sit in full sun, full shade and everything in between.
Best Midwest plants for flower containers: All types of flowering and green plants grow beautifully in containers. You can mix and match your favorite styles and colors to create containers you love — just be sure to note whether your container will be in the sun or shade and don’t mix the two types of plants in the same container. From Tulsa to St. Louis, some of the most popular container flowers include:
For part-shade to shade areas: Water hyssop, tuberous begonia, silver bells, fuchsia, impatiens, lobelia, sweet alyssum, nasturtium and pansy.
For part-sun to sunny areas: verbena, moss rose, geraniums, lantana, marigold, heliotrope, licorice vine, water hyssop and ivy-leaf geranium.
Best type of soil for floral container gardens: Use a bagged potting mix with organic moisture-control for the nutrients and ability to retain water. For all containers, use a container with a drain hole(s) and a plastic tray underneath for the water to drain into if you don’t want it dripping out onto your backyard deck or patio
How to care for your floral container gardens: After watering your newly-planted flower containers, add an organic granular fertilizer to each pot. Keep soil moist – which means you may be watering anywhere from once a week to every day, depending on the outside temperature.
Enjoy fresh grown vegetables this summer and fall with your own vegetable container garden! Using containers is easy and a great way to limit exposure to pests and disease. Containers support many types of vegetables and make growing your own food easy when you follow this advice.
Best locations for vegetable container gardens: Almost all garden vegetables do best in full sun. If you have a small yard with limited garden space, you can turn to containers placed in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sun daily.
Best Midwest vegetables for container gardens: Our customers from Springfield to Wichita plant dozens of vegetable types in container gardens. Some of the most popular vegetable plants include: green beans, beets, chard, chili peppers, kale, lettuce, green onions, radishes, spinach, sweet peppers and tomatoes. Look for hybrid and dwarf varieties of plants as they do well in pots because they require less space to grow.
Best type of soil for vegetable container gardens: When growing vegetables in containers, you’ll want to use a high-quality potting soil with organic nutrients and moisture control to retain water. Alternatively, you can also create a soil mix made of equal parts of peat moss, potting soil, and vermiculite, perlite or clean sand. Be sure you give your plants plenty of soil to grow in, with container depth of at least 12 inches, as a general rule.
How to care for your vegetable container gardens: Always water thoroughly after planting, then water at least once a week — more if the dirt gets too dry. Use an organic granular fertilizer when you first plant your containers. Then, fertilize weekly throughout the summer to give your plants the nutrients they need to produce all of that delicious food for you! For some plants, like tomatoes and green beans, you will need to add a trellis of some kind for the plant to grow up on in order to hold the weight off the developing fruit or vegetable.
Summer is around the corner and one of the loves of many great cooks is the ability to use fresh herbs in their favorite dishes! Planting and growing herb gardens in containers is easy and fun! Here’s how!
Best locations for herb container gardens: Most herbs grow best in a sunny place, sheltered from the wind and rain. Part sun is fine for basil and parsley, but if they grow “leggy” and do not flourish, they may need a little more sunshine. Rosemary and lavender thrive in full sun.
Best Midwest herbs for container gardens: We suggest you plant in the spring herbs that can withstand the Kansas City and Midwest summer heat and do well in the sun such as basil, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, sage and thyme.
Best type of soil for herb container gardens: Herbs love well-drained soil — especially woody plants like rosemary and lavender. Using a soilless potting mix with organic nutrients and moisture-control will give your herbs the foundation they need for success.
How to care for your herb container gardens: Make sure that your herb garden container gets about two inches of water every week.
In addition to our mosquito guard program, another popular addition to your spring container garden planting ideas is a container or two specifically assembled to naturally help repel mosquitoes throughout the summer and fall. Certain plants have natural chemicals that can work by masking human scents, actively repelling mosquitoes (to some degree) or containing substances toxic to insects. It’s important to note that science doesn’t quite back up the claim that just a container of these plants will do the trick alone, without you actually doing something with the plants, but it’s fun to experiment for yourself!
Best locations for mosquito-repellant container gardens: Your backyard deck or patio is the perfect place for a little extra mosquito repellent — or anywhere you sit and enjoy the outdoors. Most of the plants in this container will do best in full sun, so keep that in mind when selecting your location.
Best Midwest mosquito-repellant plants for container garden: The photo on the left gives a great quick outline of appropriate plants to add to your container garden to help repel mosquitoes. Lemongrass can make a beautiful centerpiece for your container and flowering plants like lavender, geranium and marigold add color. Those, combined with rosemary, peppermint, basil and oregano give off a wonderful aroma you will enjoy, even
when the mosquitoes don’t!
Best type of soil for mosquito-repellent container garden: These plants do well in average soil that is dry, well-drained and even low in fertility. In fact, the drier the soil, the more lavender oil that plant’s glands will produce. full sun and average soil, and Otherwise, this plant is pest, rodent, and deer-resistant.
How to care for your mosquito-guard container gardens: The plants mentioned are hearty and require little care. Keep soil relatively dry and mist it with a water spray in hot dry summer weather to control spider mites. Extra perk: besides helping keep away mosquitoes, these plants are pest, rodent and deer resistant!
We love seeing how our Ryan Lawn & Tree family continually connect with nature by beautifying their outdoor spaces! If you create any container gardens or have any other container garden ideas you would like to share, feel free to post them on social media with the hashtag #NatureConnect and tag @RyanLawnTree! At Ryan Lawn & Tree we’re here to help you with all your lawn and tree care needs. Give us a call at our nearest Midwest location for lawn fertilization and weed control, tree trimming, mulching and more! We look forward to seeing your creative gardening come to life!