I've had these iron baskets for a while, but I didn't want to go out and buy coconut liners or moss. I lined them with burlap and just inside the burlap I put a plastic grocery bag with a few holes punched in it. Then I added the soil and the plant. I could have skipped the grocery sack, but it helps the soil keep moisture and the holes allow for drainage. I did this about a month ago and they seem to be doing well.
I really love the look of sweet potato plants in baskets and pots (it's the bright green foliage). There couldn't be an easier, more dramatic plant to put in a container.
I'm too cheap to buy as many plants as I want, however, so I found Mr. Brown Thumb's blog post about how to propagate ornamental sweet potato plants. It is so easy!
You just take a cutting, cut off most of the leaves and stick it in water (Check out Mr. Brown Thumb's directions for more specific instructions). I kid you not, within 1 day the thing will start growing roots. Within 1 week, the jar will be full of roots and you can plant it. I have made several plants from the two on my porch. By the way, don't eat them.
I really love hydrangeas and want more, but I'm too cheap to spend $25 on a new plant. I suspected this would be more difficult than sweet potato propagation, and fully expected they would all die. Nevertheless, I gave it a shot and then left for a 2 week vacation. When I returned, they were all alive and growing. Nice.
I found instructions on the Backyard Gardening blog. I used 2 liter soda bottles with the tops chopped off to make little greenhouses and keep them moist.
I have had problems with weeds growing in between the stones in the back patio. With kids and dogs running through all the time, I don't like spraying poison. I had read once that vinegar kills weeds (plants as well, so be careful). I tried pouring vinegar on them, but it didn't work. So, I remembered the cleaning solution I made from 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup dawn liquid soap (I saw this on pinterest as a shower cleaner, and it works for that too). This essentially makes a vinegar gel that stays on the plant and takes more time to evaporate. I sprayed it on the weeds and it took about a day to kill them, but it worked.
Lastly, a gardener at a garden center told me to use epsom salt on some sale plants I was buying that looked wilted. If you put a little epsom salt in the water after you plant them, or mix some in the dirt, it will help revive them. I have since discovered that giving a little ES to houseplants and garden plants makes them healthier. Rose plants especially seem to love it. Outdoors I sprinkle the dirt below each plant with a tablespoon or two about once a month. Indoors, I put a little ES in the watering can.