I love container gardens and have since I moved to North Carolina. It’s so much easier than trying to dig in rocky clay soil. I tease my husband and say that a glacier stopped and pooped out all of its rocks in our yard 20,000 years ago!
Every time I dig in the ground to plant something, I get out about as many rocks as I get clay soil. Are rocks an issue in your garden too? Then maybe your best option is container gardening!
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a planner. Right down to the last detail. I don’t think my mind ever shuts off! This past winter was no exception. When it was below freezing outside, I was already dreaming about the warmer weather while I leafed through a garden catalog.
My mind was busy planning how I could redo some of my container gardens. That’s when this DIY started taking shape! I could almost feel the sun on my shoulders and the dirt in my hands!
The same thought kept popping into my head…I didn’t want to use the same old tired clay or plastic pots for the front steps this year. Instead, I thought I could use inexpensive baskets from a resale shop!
So, if you are looking to update your container gardens, you’re in the right place! Or maybe this will be your first gardening adventure! Either way, you’ll love how this easy DIY will bring new life to your garden!
In my mind, I had pictured baskets that looked like they were made out of vines or twigs. I thought that would give a more natural and welcoming look to our front steps. Plus, it would be totally different than I’ve done the last 10 years. As you can see, these baskets definitely fit that bill!
Even if the baskets only last one season, I’m not out a lot of money. Plus, the twigs that the baskets are made out of are a lot more earth friendly than plastic pots! Another bonus is they are not nearly as heavy as a clay pot.
Come with me and let’s get ready to play in the dirt!
The Hunt for the Baskets
Each week I visit multiple resale shops looking for treasures! Luckily, I was able to find exactly what I wanted these baskets to look like and in different shapes and sizes. They were also very reasonably priced! Since it was still too early to do anything with them, I tucked them away in my craft closet. Sigh…
In the meantime, in one of my Dollar Tree runs, I purchased a package of weed barrier fabric to line the baskets with. More on this choice below…I wish I’d used plastic instead. Lesson learned!
Since this was the first time I tried this, I opted to purchase inexpensive plants to put in the baskets. That way, I wouldn’t be out of a lot of money if this project didn’t work and the plants died.
Once the weather warmed up, I went out and got a few 6 packs of annuals to use in the baskets. I love the old fashioned look of petunias and snapdragons so I opted for those. Plus they are pretty hardy and can stand up to the heat in NC when watered regularly.
Then I grabbed a couple of pots full of soil from last season to reuse for this container garden project. I wasn’t worried that the soil was depleted as I top dress my containers with compost from my bin. Generally, I mix this in as well prior to planting. If you don’t have any soil to reuse, you will have to purchase some.
Once I had my supplies all gathered up, I was ready to get this project started!
The EASY Assembly Process
Truly, this has got to be one of the easiest gardening projects I have ever done. And NO rocks! 😉
Follow along and you will see what I mean!
- Trim the plastic so it’s a little larger than needed and tuck it into each basket. Folding the extra under the edge. You could use a garbage bag cut to fit the basket, or possibly a grocery bag depending on the size of the basket.
Total aside…I’m not sure how I went from green handled scissors in the photo above to orange handled scissors in the photo below. I have 2 pairs I use when gardening, so I must have grabbed the other pair when I shifted the stuff on the patio table. 🙂
- Be sure to poke a few holes in the plastic at the bottom of the basket so it can drain a bit. Remember…do not use weed barrier as it drains too fast!
- Put your gloves on and start filling your baskets with soil. It’s okay if the plastic sticks up a bit. Once the plants start growing it will hide it.
- Don’t overfill the baskets with soil, remember to leave room for the root balls on the plants.
- Have a plan as to where you want each plant to be in the basket. This will help to avoid pulling them out and moving them.
- Gently push aside the soil to the size of the root ball for each plant. Do this one at a time.
- Start placing the plants in the baskets, remember taller plants go in the middle or back, trailing plants go on the perimeter.
- Repeat until each plant has been placed in the soil.
- Allow room in the basket for each plant to be able to grow without being crowded. Trust me, the basket will fill in quickly!
- Water them thoroughly to settle the soil and to help them transition to their new home!
When I first put these on the front porch, I kept them near the house. This was to allow them to get used to their new location as my porch gets a lot of sunlight and I didn’t want to “bake” them. I knew after a week or so, they would be ready to move to their permanent location on the steps.
The baskets in their new home on the steps!
As you can see, these plants filled in nicely! You can’t even see any of the liner and each plant has had room to grow.
I got the adorable, rusty bunny that’s in the large basket from a local garden show. He totally completes the look I was hoping for!
I will definitely be doing this easy container garden again next year! Baskets are the way to go!
What I would do differently and a few suggestions.
Please, use plastic to line your baskets instead of weed barrier when you do this. This was the one mistake I made. Seriously! It will make a huge difference!
Originally, I thought the weed barrier would help prevent the baskets from rotting. What it does instead, is drain too quickly! Which in turn means I have to water more often. Lesson learned on this one (use plastic instead)!
Be sure to purchase plants that match the amount of sunlight where these will be placed. Read the plant tag so you know how larger or tall it will get. Also, keep in mind how much water they require so that they won’t be more work than you are willing to keep up with.
It’s a good idea whenever working with potting soil to wear gloves. Not only will this keep your hands and nails clean, it will keep the fertilizer, that is in most potting soils, off of your skin as well!
Remember to be careful where you place these baskets, or any container garden for that matter, as they can be a tripping hazard and you don’t want anyone falling.
I would love to hear about any of your unique gardening ideas! Tell me about them in the comments below or shoot me an email with photos! My email address is in the contact information found at the top right of the page.
Thanks for following along! See you next time!
So what’s next on the blog?
I will be sharing a favorite family recipe from my childhood! True comfort food. I hope you will join me then.
p.s. I’ve got a secret that I hope to be able to share with you soon…more on this in the near future!