Successful container gardening is easy with these basics:
Remember that when you are planting a container you are dealing with a different environment than you are when you plant directly into your garden.
You have to treat the container as a micro-environment, not as part of the entire garden.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Choose the right container for the plants and visa versa
- Make sure the container has drainage holes in the bottom so that it doesn’t become water logged
- Add some drainage medium – small gravel or stones works well – in the bottom of the container
- Use potting mix as your planting medium, not just soil you dug up from your garden
- Soak the plants you’re going to plant in the container in a bucket of water – push the pot into the water until all the air bubbles escape. Leave the plant to soak while you prepare the container.
- Remove the plants you’re going to put in the container from the pots in which they were sold – use your fingers or a small garden fork to tease the roots apart. Many of these plant have become somewhat root bound and will grow better if you ‘unbind’ the roots so they can reach out for water.
- Add bone meal and fertilizer. Ask your garden center which will work best with your chosen plants.
- Wet the soil mix in the container and then plant the plants in the grouping you want. Ask your garden center for advice about container companion planting to ensure your plants are compatible and that they’ll produce a nice show of flowers and foliage throughout the season.
- Be sure to get the soil off the leaves and stems of the plants. Cover the roots. with soil
- Water the planted container thoroughly but not so much that the water runs out the bottom as this will wash out all the nutrients.
- Water the container at least twice a day, especially as the weather warms. Remember that container soil will warm up and dry out quicker than garden soil as it’s exposed on the sides to the sun and the heat.
- When blooms fade, if the plant requires deadheading do this to prolong the blooming season