The “container season” starts early in my garden with violas and pansies. As soon as I can find some for sale anywhere in the spring, I buy a flat or two or three and plant them in some low containers to put on my front porch and in a front window box.
This year I planted the violas and pansies on March 21st.
The container season continues in the late spring when I plant containers of summer annuals to put on my front porch, back patio, and on my sister’s patio.
Then in the fall, I add some mums and gradually clear out the containers that have plantings that look tired and worn out from the summer, until I end up with all the containers stowed away for the winter, waiting until spring arrives again.
I generally plant the same plants each year, very predictably.
Boring!! Stop me!!! I need help!
That’s why I am looking forward to reading all the posts for this month’s topic for the Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, container plantings, sponsored by Gardening Gone Wild. My containers could use a little (a big) “punch up” this year and so could my sister’s, which I am also responsible for planting.
I have a good handle on the “how to” of containers…
Good drainage. It is difficult if not impossible for plants thrive in containers without good drainage, unless, of course, it is a containerized water garden. I won’t buy a container that doesn’t have holes for drainage or isn’t made of a material that I can punch holes in myself.
Good soil. I mix my own potting soil for containers because I use a lot of dirt and it saves money. However, I am now looking for a good substitute for peat moss and will be experimenting with “the recipe” this year.
Good watering. I water my containers at least once a day in the summer-time. The soil can dry out quickly!
Good containers. Like Pam/digging wrote, “go big”. Larger containers make a greater impact and actually can go more than a day at times without extra water. Like many gardeners, when I have large containers, I put some old plastic pots or other loose filler in the bottom so I can use less soil. I also like the light weight “faux” stone pots.
Good plants. To maximize the impact of containers, just like elsewhere in the garden, use good, healthy plants. And remember to use plants that have the same light and water requirements when you plant them together in containers.
Good food. You should provide some light fertilizer for your container plants to get better results. I generally use a liquid fertilizer every few weeks or when I remember. This doesn’t have to be a synthetic fertilizer that comes as a powder that turns the water blue. There are organic liquid fertilizers readily available.
Good combinations. This is where I could use some help. I have a few tried and true combinations that I over-use. I’m tired of them and ready for something new.
The nice thing about container plantings is if you see one you like, it is pretty easy to duplicate it in your own garden. So I’ll be reading all the posts for this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop looking for new ideas for plant combinations in containers.
Or, if you want to directly help me out, just let me know about your favorite container plant combination and if I use it, I’ll dedicate one of my containers to you in a future post!