How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips & Techniques

Course No. 9716
Melinda Myers,
Horticulturist and Certified Arborist
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3.7 out of 5
40 Reviews
52% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9716
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Course Overview

Most of us don’t have the time, space, or energy to design and cultivate a large outdoor garden. So what should we do if we’re craving some homegrown fruits, vegetables, or herbs, or looking to add a colorful splash of flowers to a back deck or front porch? The answer is simple: container gardening.

Growing your own plants in containers is the perfect way to liven up a living space without much of the hassle associated with traditional gardening. With container gardens, you can

  • control and manage plants and flowers with ease,
  • add bursts of color and interest almost anywhere you like,
  • easily extend the planting season beyond your usual growing season, and
  • create warm and friendly environments that match specific occasions and events.

Perhaps the best part is that you can still plant anything in a container that you would in an in-ground garden: perennials, annuals, grasses, vegetables, fruits, and even trees. All it takes is an understanding of the essentials of container gardening, as well as access to some of the same design tips, tricks, and techniques that trained gardeners and landscape artists use to create unforgettable natural displays.

And all of this you can find in the six lessons of How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips and Techniques. Delivered by award-winning horticulturalist and master gardening educator Melinda Myers, this series gives you the essentials of container gardening and the expert know-how to grow practically anything you want in as small a space as you have available. In every lesson, you’ll be immersed in real situations that reveal ideas and solutions that will work for your container garden throughout the year.

Everything You Need for Great Container Gardens

Enjoyable, economical, inspiring, and a pleasure to watch, Container Gardening Tips and Techniques is perfect for gardeners at all levels of experience. Seasoned pros will find creative ideas for designing and planting container arrangements, and novices will get everything they need to know about this form of gardening.

Throughout these six lessons, you’ll learn the fundamentals of successful container gardening, including

  • the advantages of different containers (such as concrete, plastic, and glass) and how to make each of them work to your advantage;
  • the specific soil, light, and water requirements for some of the most common plants and flowers planted in containers; and
  • solutions to common problems and pitfalls related to container gardening, including the potting mix, pests, and shaded areas.

In each instance, you’ll learn how to create your own unique container gardens to fit a range of settings and space constraints, including patios, balconies, decks, and large lots. You’ll also see how container gardens can be used to create natural privacy barriers, liven up empty corners of interior spaces, and complement the theme of a party or special occasion.

Design Tips and Tricks from an Expert

Container Gardening Tips and Techniques comes packed with advice and tricks you’ll learn alongside a friendly expert. Here is just some of the insider information you’ll get with these lessons.

  • One easy way to design a container garden is the “thriller, spiller, and filler” technique. The “thriller” is your vertical accent, which creates a focal point in the garden. The “spiller” is a plant that cascades over the pot and anchors it to the container. And the “filler” ties both together to create a more professional look and feel.
  • To find out when it’s time to water your container garden, your finger is the best tool. Push it into the soil several inches; if the soil has the slightly moist consistency of a damp sponge, it’s time to water (cacti and drought-tolerant plants, of course, are allowed to go a bit drier).
  • What happens to your container gardens when winter comes? If you live in a mild climate, you can leave your containers out all winter long (just make sure to water thoroughly when the soil is dry). For those in colder areas, you can leave containers outdoors as long as they’re weather proof and can tolerate the freezing/thawing of the soil, and your plants are at least one to two climate zones hardier than the area you’re growing them in.

Whether taking you to homes to show you container gardening in action, guiding you through a popular garden center, or explaining the secrets of container gardens from our gardening studio, Ms. Myers elevates this course high above do-it-yourself gardening. With more than 300 kinds of plants shown or referred to, you’ll have an encyclopedic visual reference for countless ways to experience container gardening.

What’s more: Every minute of these engaging lessons, you’re in the hands of a master gardening educator. With more than 30 years of experience as a college professor, popular television and radio host, and prolific writer, Ms. Myers knows how to make container gardening fascinating and fun. You’ll quickly discover why she’s earned a wealth of recognition for her knowledge and teaching abilities, including the Garden Communicator of the Year Award from the American Nursery & Landscape Association and the American Horticultural Society’s B. Y. Morrison Communication Award.

Spring, summer, fall, winter—with How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips and Techniques you’ll have the skills, tips, and tricks you need to add a vibrant natural touch to any season.

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6 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    Designs in a Pot—Thrillers, Spillers, Fillers
    There’s a lot to container gardening, but this session gives you the perfect starting point for creating your own wonderful gardens. Start with a detailed look at the varieties of containers out there (from improved plastics to concrete to self-watering) and how to find the right soil mix—or even make your own. Then, discover one of the keys to designing a powerful container garden—the “thriller, spiller, filler” method—and learn the right way to design with vibrant examples of different plant and flower combinations. x
  • 2
    Create a New Space—Edibles and Ornamentals
    Patios, small decks, fire escapes—whatever your space constraints, there are a wealth of container gardening ideas and designs you can enjoy. Taking you through several seasons, this lesson shows you how to take advantage of small spaces to blend ornamentals and edibles (such as tomatoes and blueberries) and come up with creative solutions for everyday gardening challenges, including color balance, climate restrictions, privacy with neighbors, and pest control. Adapt each of these techniques as your space allows! x
  • 3
    Unusual Pots, Vertical Spaces, Shade Design
    Ms. Myers shows you how to start thinking outside the traditional container with some unique ideas for making garden containers from a range of found or recycled items, including buckets, shoes, and teapots. Also, learn how to better choose specific plants and containers to decorate walls or fences that can be stubborn to plant around; find out what edible and decorative plants grow best in areas with limited light; develop a solid system for hanging pots; and get ideas for bringing the landscape right up to your back door. x
  • 4
    Grasses to Trees—Big Plants in Containers
    Large plants in large containers can offer perplexing design challenges when it comes to space, color, plant care, and privacy. Which trees, shrubs, and large ornamental grasses are right for your space? What are some tricks to designing with them and maintaining their health throughout the seasons? How can you effectively use large containers to screen bad views, create a focal point, provide a vertical accent, or create a living wall or border? Learn the answers to these and other questions here. x
  • 5
    Outdoor Living Areas and Special Features
    Start by learning how to approach outdoor seating and lounging areas from the gardener’s perspective and discover how to mix and match containers and plants to create the mood you want. Then, find out some tried-and-true ways to solve the pesky problems of common pests and plagues (from aphids to mosquitos to plant rot). Finally, dabble in the creation of eye-catching theme gardens, such as a tropical paradise (even in colder climates) and a miniature “fairy” garden kids will enjoy. x
  • 6
    Cool-Season Changes and Indoor Gardens
    It’s never too soon to start thinking about container gardening in cool-season weather. Here, Ms. Myers offers fantastic ideas for adding fall color to your outdoor container gardens and for taking care of your gardens during autumn and winter. She also shows you how to move your plants indoors or plant new indoor container gardens so you can enjoy your plants all year long. Plus, you’ll also find out how to create winter gardens for holiday parties that’ll stun your guests. x

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Your professor

Melinda Myers

About Your Professor

Melinda Myers
Horticulturist and Certified Arborist
Melinda Myers is a horticulturist, certified arborist, gardening expert, television/radio host, columnist, and author with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She earned her B.S. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University and her M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Before launching her own business in 2006, she was a tenured associate professor at the University of Wisconsin...
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How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips & Techniques is rated 3.7 out of 5 by 39.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Title is misleading If you want to learn how to design a container, then this course might be what you want. If you want to learn how to grow, and not kill, the plants in your container, this course does not help you. You can tell the instructor is used to doing short spots on news programs. Just general talking points, no details.
Date published: 2020-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from True to it's word. I bought this to help me gain more knowledge about container gardening and I did.
Date published: 2020-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Many ideas for the craft oriented gardener. Interesting ideas but not really my aesthetic. Would like more tropical hardy, natives.
Date published: 2020-07-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great tips, little info in guidebook Enjoyed the tips and appreciated that she included the plants she discussed in each lesson in the course guidebook however I wish she would have included some of the tips as well. Felt I had to take a lot of notes. I will watch the lessons again but sometimes I just want to have a quick look at a guide and not devote so much time to the lessons again.
Date published: 2020-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Need to learn the basics? This course is a good primer for those of us who need to learn the basics of container gardening--everything from the pots to use, the soil to fill them with, the flowers to choose, and the way to arrange them and care for them. My only reservation is that the information in the course guide about the plants is not helpful, especially because during each lesson the instructor mentions so many that I couldn't keep up with her to make my own list of the plants that would suit my zone and garden.
Date published: 2020-02-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not much info on how to succeed Super disappointed. As someone who wants to garden, but can't seem to get anything to grow; I was hoping for detailed instruction on how to prepare containers, soil, fertilizer, etc. No, not here, this course seems all about design. How to make everything look pretty. Each lecture seemed to be repeating the same design info. Just a total waste of money as far as figuring out how to keep vegetables alive and growing. Lots of design info if that's what you are looking for then this course is for you.
Date published: 2019-03-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected. It is great if you are looking to set up a flower garden. I was looking for information on types of soil and such.
Date published: 2019-02-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average A bit disappointed with this one. Not a whole lot of new information or ways to do things that I already did not know. But was pleased with the list of newer plants for me to try out. Would recommend this for beginners or people who know nothing about gardening
Date published: 2018-11-03
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