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Completely removable and customizable, a container garden is a renter’s dream. Image: Oscar Wong/Getty Images

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So you’re renting. And, sure, that’s going to limit you in some ways. You probaly won’t replace those countertops you hate and you’re not going to paint the walls (you might throw up some removable wallpaper, though). But you can transform your outdoor space. With a container garden, you don’t need your landlord’s approval to avoid forfeiting your security deposit.

Why container gardens are ideal for renters

A container garden presents a world of possibilities. Homeowners love them for a few of the reasons we’re about to get into, but they really shine if you’re paying rent for your space. Here’s why.

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Your container garden can move with you. Image: Visit Roemvanitch/EyeEm/Getty Images

They’re not permanent

It’s the renter’s dilemma: do you live with parts of your space that you dislike or do you risk losing your security deposit to change them? We can’t help you out with that terrible bathroom grout or oddly colored carpet in your bedroom, but when it comes to outdoor space, we’ve got a solution. If you want to landscape your space in a way you can remove without a trace, choose a container garden. When you move out, all you need to do it pack up your pots and your landlord will be none the wiser.

They’re portable

Plants are expensive, especially if you want large-scale ones to capitalize on the plant-focused taking over in 2019. And it’s a real shame to dump money into something you’re going to have to leave behind when you hand over your keys.

But with a container garden, you don’t have to worry. All your lovely plants can come with you wherever you relocate to next.

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You can add a container garden virtually anywhere to put your personal design on your outdoor space. Image: Linda Raymond/Getty Images

Containers are design-friendly

Oftentimes if you’re renting, space is tight. You want to make your rental feel like your own, but options can feel limited. Expanding your design into your outdoor areas expands your opportunity to make your rental feel like home. And it can take formerly dreary areas — like a concrete patio or plain front steps — and transform them.

And planters are pretty versatile these days. You can get ultra-mod monochromatic , , and . You can go with the or put your plants in rustic-inspired wooden planter boxes. Your options are endless, which means your design options are, too. You can use the containers you pick to set the tone for your outdoor space. It’s where your green thumb meets exterior design.

They don’t need soil

If you’re a renter with an actual yard, congrats. But if you’re living in a walk-up with a small patio, an apartment with a concrete slab out back, or a rental with virtually no outdoor space, you don’t have to give up your landscaping dreams. With a container garden, you can add some green without any preexisting soil.

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Ready, set, plant! Here’s what you should know about setting up your garden. Image: PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/Getty Images

How to set up your own container garden

Sold on the idea? Sweet. Because we’ve got more good news: starting your container garden is easy. Like, really easy. Take a quick look at the steps:

  • Pick your location. It helps if you have a fair idea of what types of plants you’re going to want since certain types of plants require certain amounts of light. Think through where you’re going to put your containers and how you’re going to arrange them before you start buying stuff.
  • Pick your plants. Next, choose your plants. Again, remember to think about their light requirements. If your chosen place doesn’t have much light, don’t worry. Just head to the indoor section of your home improvement store and choose from the plants you find there.
  • Pick your containers. Now that you know which plants you’re going to use, you can get containers that will fit them. Pro tip: check the bottom for drainage holes unless you’re keen on drilling them yourself. And if you’re going to be placing your container garden somewhere draining water could be an issue (e.g., on a wood surface), buy saucers to place under your containers, too.
  • Get a (if necessary). If you don’t have a water source near where you plan to place your container garden, buy something to make watering easy.
  • Buy soil. Unless you’re really talented or really lucky, you probably didn’t choose plants that will fit exactly in each of the containers you chose. Buy some potting soil to help them fit comfortably.
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With proper plant care, your container garden will thrive. Image: Maskot/Getty Images

Now you’re ready to get to planting. Make sure you read the care tips on your plants before you take them out of their pots or toss those little plant care tags they stick in the soil.

Then, water regularly, give them plenty of plant food and you’ll be well on your way to the container garden of your dreams.