Container Gardening - Knowledgebase Question

Bloomingdale, NJ
Question by miksha
April 26, 1998
I bought a house on a lake. It's a beautiful spot with lots of all-day sun. The house is built on a stone bulkhead and has virtually no soil to grow anything. I need some ideas on creative ways to have a garden using boxes, barrels, etc. etc. My priorities for growing are first herbs, then flowers and other beautiful plants.


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Answer from NGA
April 26, 1998

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My first suggestion is to find a good guidebook, such as "The Creative Container Gardener" by Elaine Stevens (10 Speed Press; ISBN# 0-89815-697-1). She covers the basics and inspires you to use your imagination as well! And even though the area is exposed to full-day sun, if you wish to create nooks of shade, you can grow tall, sun-tolerant plants to shade the more delicate. You can use most anything to contain your garden, but I caution against treated woods (creosoted railroad ties, pressure treated wood) and tires, all of which have the potential to contaminate soil and plants - and even you. One water-conserving option Ms. Stevens' book doesn't mention is water-absorbing polymer crystals (marketed as Hydrosource or Terra-Sorb) that hold water in the soil for plants' later use. If you have more questions after reading her book, let us know! And check out the website at http://homepages.together.net/...
for other ideas, too. Enjoy!

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