Contribute To Climate Control With A Container Garden
by Cassie Steele, Freelance Writer
Recently, scientists have noticed warmer summers, rising seas and more powerful storms in the North Eastern climate. Maine is committed to maintaining forests in the area, working with the Nature Conservancy on carbon offset projects that will help fight against climate change. You too can help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protect the natural environment simply by adding vegetation around your home. Even if you only have a small outside space, growing plants in containers is easy, adds color and interest and still makes a small contribution to clearing the air.
Choosing the right plants
Growing plants in pots and containers can be a simple alternative to a traditional garden of beds of plants. If you choose mostly native plants, you’ll know that they are suited to the humid, continental climate but can cope with cold, snowy winters. Suitable for a dark corner or to cover a bare wall, Northern bush honeysuckle will thrive in difficult environments and with any level of light and its pretty yellow flowers will attract bees. For some color, the Virginia rose has delicate pink flowers followed by red hips in the Fall. It spreads by underground roots which makes it a perfect plant to be contained in a pot. To add interest, non-native plants like tundra loving succulents are low maintenance and surprisingly hardy and unlike other non-native species aren’t invasive or detrimental to the local environment.
Growing your own food
Even with just a little space, you can grow herbs and berries that not only look beautiful but are tasty too. Wintergreen, a low evergreen plant with edible red berries will bring color during the colder months. Ferns provide lush greenery and, if you plant an ostrich fern, after a couple of years you can harvest your own young fiddleheads to cook or pickle. Perennial herbs like mint and oregano grow well with just a little sunshine. Keep them in small pots near the kitchen for an easy addition to your cooking.
Choosing the right pot
Picking the right size and material for your container is very important. If it is too small, roots will become pot bound and if it’s too large the roots will develop more than the plant. Soil temperatures soar in metal or dark plastic containers so instead use natural materials like wood and clay. Succulents will enjoy a cast stone planter with good drainage, bright green ferns will look striking against orange terracotta and a dark violet ceramic pot will reflect the color of a rich crop of large highbush blueberries.
With only a small outdoor space, you can still enhance your surroundings by adding flowers and greenery, attracting pollinators and helping to offset carbon emissions. Growing local plants ensures they are suitable to the local climate and help maintain an environmental balance.