Containers have held the spotlight with increasing uses with urban yards decreasing in size, condo dwelling becoming fashionable and because we have finally discovered how fun it is to include our yards as part of our homes. Here are some foundational things to consider before you get started planting.
Choose the right size container. This one thing will solve a host of other issues we face with containers, like root compaction, needing to water “all the time” as well as giving you more room to be creative. Unless you are growing succulents, which don’t require much soil, avoid those itty bitty pots like the plague.
Good drainage is not an option! That does not mean one tiny ½” hole in a thigh high container either. That means at least a 1” hole or more than one hole in a container that size. We drilled 6, ½” holes in the bottom of our half barrel planters to get proper drainage.
Important note…It take less time for water to drain from a tall container than a low broad one due to gravity so the wider the pot the more holes it will need.
Buy the best potting soil you can afford. Do not use regular garden soil, as it is too heavy and dense for containers. Bagged potting soil mixes are specifically designed for containers to provide the foundation for your container plants.
Feed regularly. Constant watering leaches fertility from potting soil quickly, so if you are watering twice a day with water you need to use a time-release fertilizer or do what the growers do and feed with a very weak solution of liquid fertilizer every time you water. Its amazing the difference you’ll see.
Chose plants with similar needs for sun, water and nutrients to group together.
For planting plan ideas for your containers check out pages 132 through 134 “Garden Allstars” edition of Birds and Blooms Magazine on local newsstands now.