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How to Create a Low Maintenance Container Garden

Container gardens are a great option for those looking for a low maintenance garden, or those wanting to instantly add some colour and interest into an outdoor space. Pots and containers are great for patio spaces or courtyard gardens, and it’s an easy look to achieve in a short space of time. 

Having said this, all gardens, regardless of whether they contain pots or not, will need to be watered and fed at certain points in the year. Here are our top tips, therefore, for creating a container garden with minimal maintenance required:

The Larger you go, the Lower Maintenance

Large pots do not need as much watering as small pots. They hold the water for longer and, generally, plants housed in large pots are much more established and can therefore go longer between being watered.

If you do opt for small pots over large pots, remember that you’ll probably have to water them every day, whereas large pots can sometimes be watered as little as once a week. If you’re going away for a few days, you can sometimes get away with giving your pots a deep water just before you go and then standing them together in a shaded corner. However, it’s always advisable to have someone come in and water your garden whilst you’re away if at all possible.

You can also minimise how often you feed and water pots by using a mix of compost and water-control products which offer a slow release control over the water. It’s simple to do, as it’s just a case of mixing the granules into the compost during planting. Many of these products claim that it’ll reduce your watering by 75%, so they can be worth trying if low maintenance is important to you.

Choose your Plants Wisely

Choosing your plants for your containers well will also minimise the maintenance required. The likes of grasses, such as panicum virgatum – or Shenandoah – work well within the middle of a pot surrounded by bedding plants and need very little maintenance to keep them looking healthy.

Similarly, succulents are relatively low maintenance, and require very little watering; in fact, they like having a lot of drainage in their pots. Succulents in small containers perched along a wall can also give a very retro 1980s alpine garden feel within a small space!

If you want something which will give a big impact or act as a backdrop to smaller containers in front, potted box works really well, and as it’s an evergreen, requires very little maintenance to keep it looking fresh and green year-round. You could even practice your topiary skills to create interesting shapes and displays!

Add Colour

Of course, the joy of a container garden has to be the instant pop of colour it can add to a space. For this, choose beautiful hydrangeas for an instant, large expanse of colour. Either opt for several hydrangeas in one colour, or if you’re a fan of plenty of colour tones side by side, then feel free to mix it up with several coloured hydrangeas. They’re also easy to grow, relatively hardy and will often come back year after year.

For small pots, choose plenty of brightly coloured bedding plants, or even tumbling vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes and strawberries, to add interest.

If you’d like to add some containers to your garden space but aren’t sure where to start, contact D&G Garden World. As expert landscape gardeners, we can source the containers to suit your needs and style, and then landscape them accordingly to give maximum effect in the space you have. Add a pop of low maintenance interest to your garden with plenty of pots this summer!