|Issue #518 - May 14, 2015|
Container Planting Guide
Gardening in containers will add instant color and structure to any garden and it's a great option for early spring when the dangers of a sudden nighttime frost are still present. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Choosing a Container
Choose the right size and material for your container. Smaller pots and containers made out of terra cotta dry out more easily, so consider using these in shady garden areas. Choose glazed, wrought iron or large wooden containers for full sun areas, as they tend to retain more water. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes present in whatever container you chose. Soil additives are also available to aid in watering.
Container gardening can be as simple as choosing one type of plant per pot or a combination of plants with different leaf textures and flower colors. The most important thing to consider when selecting your plants is the light and care requirements of each plant you choose in relation to the location and the size of your pot or container. Choose plants that share similar characteristics for best results.
To begin planting, cover the drainage holes of your chosen container with potshards or a double thickness of newspaper to prevent soil loss, then add an appropriate amount of pre-moistened potting mix for the size of the container and number of plants being used. An ideal mix would be a 3:1 ratio of a quality soil-less potting mix and a good compost or composted manure. Keep in mind that you want about 1" of space from the top of the soil to the top of the pot to make watering easier.
Add your plants, making sure to loosen the roots to allow them to spread. Place your plants in the desired arrangement before filling and firming soil around them. This allows you to adjust or remove plants more easily if necessary. Back fill the container with soil, firm in gently, add a time-release fertilizer and water until it runs out from the bottom of the pot.
Depending on the plants chosen, and whether or not the addition of a time-release fertilizer was used in planting, fertilize your containers every two weeks with a well-balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Watering containers can vary widely depending on the weather, the type of plants chosen, the location of the pot, and how many different plants are in each pot. It's fairly safe to say that containers and pots will require more water in dry hot weather and open windy areas than in wet weather and cool shaded areas.
The Ten DO's and DON'Ts of Landscaping
Even small landscaping projects can seem daunting. Which plants should I choose? How do I want my beds laid out? What should I keep and what should I toss?
Like any project, dividing it up into smaller parts will make your task easier. We've compiled the following ten DO's and DON'Ts of landscaping to help you tackle "that spot" in your yard.
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