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Determine if Container Gardening will work in your Setting:
The key to adding containers to your setting is to work with Mother Nature. Take time to plan and examine your garden setting, and see what elements will work with your setting and will not. This will save money and energy when you begin to plant in your planters.

Zones:
The US and Southern Canada is divided into zones based on yearly temperatures.  Known as “grow zones”, these rankings help to determine seeds and plants that will thrive in your particular area.
There are 11 zones, with Zone 1 being the coldest, and Zone 11 the hottest. Please visit this website to determine your own particular zone: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html. You may also find these zones in gardening magazines as well.

This method is not foolproof, but is more likely to allow your efforts to come to fruition. Try to stick with plants that thrive in your zone. Plants that are outside your zone may seem tempting, but they may disappoint you once they are outside of a greenhouse environment!

Seasonal Changes:
If you are just starting container gardening, you will want to choose hardy plants that are in season. Look on the seed packets for the seasonal information. If you are still unsure, just ask the professional at the nursery for help.

Make sure you are aware of the blooming season of the plant; some plants will bloom all summer long, while others may only bloom for a week or so. Know what to expect from your plant before you plant them so you won’t be disappointed.

If you decide to grow vegetables, make sure to note when the harvest season is for your plants. Make sure your zone will allow you enough time to actually grow your vegetables, if it does not, consider a faster growing variety!

Sunlight for your Container:

Be sure to observe how the lighting affects your garden setting. Understand the areas of your garden that are exposed to constant light, and areas that are always in the shade. Most container gardens can only be in direct light for 4-5 hours, even when they say “full sun”. Also, plants often do not do well in full shade either. Try to place your container gardens in areas that have sun during the morning, and shade in the afternoon, or vice versa. These are the areas most containers seem to thrive!

By taking time to plan, you will create a garden that works in harmony with nature. By researching and making educated decisions, your plants will thrive and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor!


Garden containers can enhance an area; making a wonderful accent to a fountain, or look beautiful flanked by statuary. No matter what planters and plants you choose, enjoy the wonderful accent they will create!