Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not

For the longest time, I've been wanting a big planter by the front door for a little pizazz. Unfortunately, at garden centers and nurseries, big ceramic pots ranged from $120 and way, way, way up.

Happily, Home Goods came out with their garden center a weekend ago and when my mom came to visit, I told her we had to go. Right as we walked in, this big, gray blue pot screamed my name and was priced at only $40.


Now, big pots like these can be a money pit when it comes to soil, but not when your super awesome master gardener mom is in town!

(Note: This project helps if you have a beer drinking honey stuck in your house)

First, drag out your recycling bin.

Fill up about 2/3 of your pot (potted plants don't need much space for roots) with your assorted bottles.

Then, we put down a paper bag to keep soil from just falling between the cracks.

After your pot is prepared, pour in your potting soil- if you're not using your pot for food, feel free to use Miracle Grow (I don't recommend chemically enhancing your green beans, but you know, whatever floats your boat.)

When potting plants, make sure you plant them level with their root ball. If it has a 3 inch root ball, only plant them three inches deep. For our pot, we used a papyrus plant and different kinds of begonias, which are all awesome porch plants as they love the shade.

Waddle you pot over to where you want it and enjoy the view!

While we had the potting spoil out, we also planted our hanging baskets. We scored these iron baskets at Lowe's for $4 a piece (which are cheaper than the plastic ones at Target) and match our house numbers.

We planted some perky Tuberous Begonia (orange), 3 or 4 dark blue Lobelia, and a white feathery thingy...because that's the technical term and I can't remember.

The flowers certainly help with the curb appeal while we wait for the weather to dry out to paint the front porch. I love potting plants because they are instant gratification.

Do you guys have any hints for potting plants?


  1. I saw a tip online about using packing peanuts at the bottom of planters. I thought that's way smarter than using rocks (which is what we heavy). Of course who has packing peanuts lying around! The house looks so charming. I'm so jealous of your old home!

  2. bottles at the bottom of the planter=genius! go mom!

  3. What a great idea, I never would have thought to do that. And it looks so pretty :)

  4. This is such a great idea to keep the pot lighter than if you filled it with rocks! I wish I saw this last weekend when I filled my big planters with rocks. They are not moving anywhere at this point.

    Also, you may want to remove the bottle caps from your Coke bottles since they have codes on them- I redeem them for magazine subscriptions. And if you dont want to use the codes, I can take them off your hands...

  5. No hints, just admiration. Using the recycle bin is genius.

  6. This is perfect. I love the planter. And I had NO idea about that tip. I would be the dumb ass who filled the whole thing with dirt. haha, I'm glad you're smarter than me.

  7. I love those hanging baskets. I just saw the same ones at True Value for 14.99! I almost bought one but now I think I'll head to Lowes and buy 3. Great tip about using the bottles in the planter, do you know if cans will work too? We drink more soda out of cans than bottles here :).

    1. Go get em' girl! Also, I don't think it matters what you fill the bottom with, but if you are using cans I would use a smaller planter so the soil isn't so heavy it'd crush them. Best of luck!

  8. When arranging flowers in a container garden, I always refer back to my high school horticulture's advice. You need a thriller, a filler, and a spiller. One tall, maybe spiky, bam!-look-at-me plant, one medium height plant to fill in around the thriller, and one cascading plant to spill out and soften the edges of the planter. Also, it wouldn't work in such a tall container as yours, but if you're short on bottles and haven't just received a package full of foam peanuts, you can flip a junky planter upside down in the bottom of your container. An ugly terra cotta planter that you don't want works well. The plastic nursery containers can work with very light soil, but heavier soil can crush the sides.


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