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How to Build a Mini Garden

April 6, 2013

Drainage or no drainage?


  • You can drill holes in the bottom of your container, or plan to water very carefully

  • Don’t need gravel for drainage. Make it all soil for root space

  • If the container doesn’t have drainage, does it seep? You may want to consider lining it with plastic.


Permanent or temporary? Design your garden accordingly


  • Permanent – tropical plants, succulents, mosses, herbs. Leave space for things to grow.

  • Temporary – forced bulbs, veggies, annual plants. Make it easy to pull apart and replant when the display is done.


Use fresh, sterile potting media


  • Don’t use the stuff from your garden. It will come full of bugs you don’t want inside, and probably won’t drain well enough or hold enough moisture.

  • Choose soil according to the plants you will be using. Cactus will need a sandier, faster draining soil than other

  • plants.

  • If your container doesn’t have drainage you may want to add some horticultural charcoal to the soil.


Choose your plants wisely.


  • Look for dwarf or slow-growing varieties, or things that can be easily pruned.

  • Consider light and water requirements and choose plants accordingly.


Design tips:


  • Choose plants of varying color, leaf size, and texture for visual interest. Don’t choose too many differing elements, however, or the design will look too busy.

  • Lay out your design before planting for reference.

  • Adding props such as fairy garden items, shells, dinosaurs, or interesting rocks can make your design more fun.

  • Give your design a finished look by mulching with moss, gravel, bark, sea glass, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

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