Gardening in containers provides a frugal option: getting a big effect for a modest outlay. Better yet, they're easy to achieve without spending a lot of time or effort. Try these tips:
- Buy one package of seeds of a quick-growing annual, such as dwarf zinnia, Ageratum, sweet alyssum, Browallia, or candytuft. Split the seeds among several pots. Within weeks, you'll have an attractive mass of colorful blooms for pennies.
- In a 12-inch pot, plant a six-pack of marigolds or petunias of a single color or mixed hues. Enjoy the show throughout summer.
- Take cuttings of mums as they develop in spring. With a sharp knife, cut 3-inch tips off stems. Press each cut end into a small pot of potting mix and sand. By fall, the new plants should be ready to bloom and take up residence in a larger pot. Transplant them into the garden after they finish blooming.
- Recycle divisions of perennials and groundcovers by letting them serve a summer as potted plants. In spring, split mature or overgrown plants into several pieces that will become new plants. Pot hostas, ferns, Pachysandra, Vinca and Liriope--all do well in shade. In a cold climate, transplant the divisions into the garden in early fall.
- Give new life to old objects by revamping a wooden box, kettle, or garden cart into a home for plants. Place several plants in a large container, or group smaller pots of individual plants for a varied display.