Before we start the actual gardening you'll have to pick out a pot and prepare the soil so it drains well. If the soil doesn't drain properly your plants may get root rot. To begin you will need the following:
A Wide Rimmed Pot See my article “Choosing an enchanting pot for your fairy garden” for tips.
Potting Soil: Your local Menards, or Farm King will have this.
Medium Gravel*: No bigger than a large grape. Find at your local Farm King or outdoors store, maybe even in your driveway.
Small Gravel*: or tiny rocks.
Coffee Filters: A cheaper alternative to landscaping fabric. Use the ones which will lay flat, not the cone shaped ones.
*For a lighter pot replace the medium, small, or both gravels with Pearlight. Found at Menards/ your local garden store. If using a glass container definitely use Pearlight as it will put less pressure on the glass.
You are going to be layering the materials to allow the water to drain properly from your pot. Remember, happy roots make happy plants.
First, layer two coffee filters into the bottom of the pot. The coffee filters will prevent any dirt from washing out of the pot. See Fig.1. at the top.
Next, cover the filters with about 2.5” of the medium gravel. Shake the pot so the gravel sits level. If you want to take up more space in the bottom of the pot it is ok to use more gravel. Fig.2
Then, layer two more coffee filters over the medium gravel. Fig.3
Next add a thin layer of small gravel or rocks, just enough to cover the filters. About an 1” Fig.4
Now, add more coffee filters. I had to use three to make sure the small gravel was covered. I let the filters rise up the sides of the pot a little. This is so no dirt will slip down the side. Fig. 5
Next, add the potting soil. Fig. 6
Finally, water the planter thoroughly. This will help all the layers to settle into place. It’s ok to overwater because we won’t planting just yet. Fig. 7
Also, check the water that drains from the bottom of your planter. It shouldn’t have any dirt in it. Now, step back and take it in. The beginning of your fairy garden. It's best to let the layers settle for at least 5-7 days after the first watering. It will probably take us longer than that until we get to the actual planting because we first have to 'landscape' our garden's design and figure out what type of accessories and plants we want.
My next article will cover planning your garden layout. Happy Gardening