Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D has written a book on container gardening that can be a way to improve may aspects of your health. Whether you want to enhance a view or provide yourself with herbs and other foods, this can be a way to improve your surroundings. Despite our recent weather changes, Dallas is an ideal place to begin thinkiing about gardens and especially container gardens as we move into March.
It even represents an opportunity for people with disabilities and mobility impairments as gardening in containers allows people with even severe arthritis the ability to create a garden space on your deck, patio, courtyard, or front walk area. For a cose-up view you can even attach a window box to a window or railing.
A few container basics, if you are thinking about containers shop for those large enough to hold their roots, containers with 10″ diameters or more are suggested for most plants. This also helps to ensure that water is available to the plants and enhances survival.
For accessibility for wheelchair users and seated gardeners, select containers that are 24 tall. You can buy containers made of clay, concrete, plastic or wood. Realize that clay pots are not frost proof and must be moved to a protected area, like a garage, if the winter temperatures dip below freezing. Plastic pots will last longer if they were made with ultraviolet inhibitors. Chimney flue tiles and drainage pipes made of fired clay and whiskey barrels also make great containers for the accessible garden. Make sure there is a hole in the bottom of the containers to allow water to drain out.
Small trees, shrubs, bulbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs adapt to containerized gardening. Plants can be evergreen or lose their leaves in the winter. Some plants will survive year after year, while others are not hardy in the winter months. Due to the hardiness of many plants, they should be planted after the frost free date in your area.
For food products, try tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, beans, lettuce, peas, spinach, parsley, dill, basil and chives. Some vining plants will need to be staked or grown in a wire cage for support. Look for varieties that produce smaller plants. These are better suited for containers.
Recognize that vegetable and herb plants need a sunny location. As you survey your site for placement of your containers, the west and south sides of your house will be the sunniest. There are flowering plants that grow best in sun while others flourish in shade. Use references and read the plant tags as you make your selections. Do not mix plants in your container that are not compatible based on sun tolerance.
For more information, check out www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/gardening.shtml