Choosing a container for gardening is easy when you consider what you want it to do. Are you looking for a spot to grow some kitchen herbs? What about formal urns flanking the front door? Or how about a pot that is packed full of unusual flowers?
Here are some considerations when choosing a container.
Size is important. Too small and it will dry out often and the plants will be cramped. Too large and the roots might feel like they are living in a swamp. Consider what you will grow in it. A tree or large ornamental like a tropical hibiscus needs at least a 10 inch pot. A miniature rose would drown in that size container and would do far better with a 6 inch pot.
What is the container made of? This can be tricky, as both terra cotta clay pots and plastic containers each have their pros and cons. Plastic containers tend to dry out slowly as a rule of thumb, while terra cotta dries out quickly, especially if it is sited in a windy area. So, if you tend to forget to water, plastic would be more forgiving.
Design is important to consider, so if it is garish and you like subdued, chances are that container will never grow on you no matter how inexpensive it is. This also goes for character, a funky painted container would look out of place at a very formal home.
Drainage is critical for the health of the plants, so check to see if the pot has drainage holes in the bottom.
There are so many places to find containers for sale, at nurseries and greenhouses, at thrift stores and garage sales, even at home improvement stores. Look around, sometimes you can also get great deals after the main planting season has occurred.
Here are some places in Madison to check for containers:
Kleins Greenhouse, their website is http://www.kleinsfloral.com
Blaines Farm and Fleet, their website is http://www.farmandfleet.com