At our house, seeds are sprouting in the Bio Dome and plants have been ordered for spring delivery, so now it’s time to think about containers. Every spring we drag out the survivors from the previous season — the motley collection of cracked terracotta and intrepid resin flowerpots, which we are too embarrassed to provide a photo of! — but we also try for a few new containers to greet the new garden.
So let’s look at what’s available at Park Seed this season:
We have already ordered 2 sets of Verti-Plants, and can’t wait to put them in! These new hanging wall pouches have been at the top of the list ever since we first learned of them last fall. They come from England, where they won a gardening award, and we are excited about them because we’ve been looking for something to put in the dog run — a long, narrow, sun-soaked side yard where nothing will ever grow in the ground and which is too narrow for freestanding planters. Bordered by the house wall on one side and an unattractive 6-foot fence on the other, it’s an eyesore that just happens to be overlooked by a window in the den.
Verti-Plants is perfect because each panel (a set has 2 panels) has 6 planting pouches, stacked in pairs. So for the top layer, which will be in blazing west Texas sun, we’re thinking Ornamental Mini Mint and dwarf Sedum. For the shadier second and third layers, some of those Nano Geraniums from the Bio Dome (see pic above), plus herbs.
Update, May 2016: Want to see how my Verti-Plants are growing? Check out the latest!
Plantscape Vertical Planting Panels
Originally we thought of investing in the Plantscape Vertical Planting Panels for the dog run, which fascinate us but would be wasted in an area where nobody except the dogs will really see them. They come with their own irrigation system, though, which is really tempting since the dog run is far from the hose!
So instead, we are tentatively planning to use the Plantscape system alongside a paved walkway in the backyard. The previous owners installed a flat wooden trellis here in the hope of covering up a bunch of electrical boxes and pipes. (It didn’t work.) The Plantscape Vertical Planting Panels would be fabulous there, and would entirely hide the boxes and pipes.
Portable, Bargain-priced Bags
As the garden moves onto the patio, porch, and even the top of the driveway, flexible containers are becoming increasingly popular. They’re easy to move, they can be wedged into tight spots, and they wash clean and fold flat for storage. We have two types of bags, both designed for growing potatoes bu
t useful for many root vegetables as well as flowers and ornamental foliage plants. The Potato Growin’ Bag is economical and super-versatile, while the Lightweight Potato Eco-Planter even lets you check on the progress of your root vegetables as they grow!
Flower Pouches and Growin’ Bags
Speaking of dirt cheap, these hanging bags continue to sell like hotcakes here at Park, and it’s easy to see why. You just fill them with soil, tuck in your plants, and sling them up anywhere! Presto — you can now grow your whole strawberry crop (or flowers, or any trailing vegetable variety) without using an inch of garden space! We like getting edibles out of the dirt and up to eye level. And the price is so right!
We have been very pleasantly surprised by this product. It was originally a Christmas gift item at our sister company, Jackson & Perkins, but once we tried these nifty little glass containers in the office windowsills, we begged to offer them here at Park Seed. Hydroponic growing has never been so easy and pretty!
This is a complete kit, and here’s how it works: you fill the glass jar about half full of water, then fill the little stainless-steel net pot with recycled glass beads, set the gourmet herb seeds (included — everything’s included!) in the germination pellet, drop the hemp wicks out from the base of the net pot, and put the whole shebang into the top of the jar. Now you have a self-watering herb that you can grow in the kitchen and snip leaves from any time you like! And of course you will use the system again and again, replacing nothing but the seeds and the germination pellet, for which you can use a Jiffy-7, a bio sponge from your Bio Dome, or simply a handful of grow mix.
We also love supporting the Eco-Planter folks because they work with agencies that employ developmentally disabled adults here in the USA to assemble the kits.