Container Gardening

by on May 21, 2010

Spring Container

We all have not-so-pretty elements in our gardens, and we’ve all tried various ways to screen and obscure them.

One sure solution is container gardening. A bright, colorful planter creates an eye-catching focal point that draws visitors’ attention away from that unsightly air-conditioning unit, ugly fence, or weedy patch in your yard.

Follow these tips for creating beautiful containers:

Pay attention to plants’ needs. Colorful, imaginative container gardens start with common-sense gardening techniques. Prevent waterlogged roots by using pots with drainage holes. Many new containers have a well at the bottom which can collect water and keep roots moist. It is still important not to over water. Another tip is to put an inch of gravel in the bottom of the container to provide better drainage. Stay on top of watering because container plants drink up moisture quickly. Unfortunately I had to learn this the hard way, having killed more than a few plants late in the spring when there was still some rain happening but not enough to fully water the plants and the days started to heat up. Fertilize containers weekly to replenish nutrients whether you use a time released pellet like Osmacote or just plain Miracle Grow.

Hanging Container

Choose wisely for sunny spots. For full-sun containers, look for plants that can take the heat. Succulents and cacti, for example, have swollen leaves and stems that allow them to flourish with minimal water. I always check the tags in every container of plants I choose and pair them according to their sun needs. I hate to say it, but I have made more than one mistake planting a partial sun lover with a full sun lover and lost one or the other depending on where I placed them.

Take time with the shady areas. One thing that many gardeners like about the shade flower is the fact that it usually has larger foliage than sun loving plants. The larger leaves helps the plant get the maximum benefit out of the light it does receive which in turns helps with its photosynthesis process (food manufacturing). If you decide to decorate an area using just foliage plants try alternating between types, colors and forms of different plants. Here are just a few of the shade flowers I have tried: Begonia, Lady’s Mantle, Hosta, Impatiens, Peony. My personal favorite is the Double Impatiens because their flowers are so pretty.

Summer Containers

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