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Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Garden in a bra

via enotablog.com

A container garden doesn’t have to raise the neighbors’ eyebrows in order to be get lots of attention.

Here are my tips for a showy container garden:

1. Consider using a large container if you have the space. As the root system develops, it will need more room. When the roots can grow to their hearts contents; the healthier they will be.

Boat Container Garden

via about.com

2. Think of planting your containers in three tiers.

a. Tall plants, sometimes called Thrillers, include ferns, spikes and dracaena

b. Showy middle range plants, sometimes called Fillers, include impatiens and marigolds

c. Trailing plants, also known as Spillers, include sweet potato vine and creeping Jenny.

filler, spiller, thriller

via earlysnowdrop.blogspot.com

3. Evaluate the amount of sunlight that your location receives throughout the day. Is the area mostly sunny, mostly shady or part sun/part shade? Choose the right plant for that area. Most nurseries include an information tag with the plant.

Pots for shade

via stonecanyonstudios.com

4. How much time do you have to devote to maintaining your container gardens? Do you travel often? If you might not be able to water regularly, pick more drought tolerant varieties and try to plant more sparsely.

plants that take less water

via Sunset.com

5. Make sure your pot will drain well. Does it have at least one hole in the bottom? With the right tools you can add one if it doesn’t. To keep the soil from falling out, put a layer of stones, pot shards, packing peanuts (not the eco-friendly ones that dissolve when wet) or a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot.

Use pebbles for drainage

via dirtmomma.weebly.com

6. To minimize soil dehydration, consider plastic or other non-porous containers. Clay pots will dry out more quickly.

Plastic is less porous

via luxbotaniverse.blogspot.com

7. Container gardens don’t have to be all about bright colored flowers. Playing with leaf textures can make a gratifying composition. For instance, asparagus ferns have masses of small, narrow leaves and contrast with the large soft leaves of the silver Artemisia. A chartreuse sweet potato vine would add another look.

textures for interest

via about.com

8. Fertilizing is important, but needs to be applied reasonably: every two weeks or so with a water soluble fertilizer or once at the beginning of the season with slow release granules. Be careful not to over-fertilize. Read the package directions for measurements.

Plants need nutrients

via about.com

9. If showy flowers are you goal, choose a fertilizer with less nitrogen in the mix. The first of the three numbers in the ratio is the nitrogen content. Higher nitrogen ratio isn’t fatal; however, you will have more foliage with fewer flowers.

10. Dead head regularly. Once a flower starts to die, pluck it off the plant. This will give the plant more energy to devote toward growing new flowers.

Pinch off dead flowers

via ehow.com

What tips do you have for your container plants? I’d love to hear about them. I hope your containers get lots and lots of great attention from your neighbors.

Tomorrow…some pictures of my container gardens.

Amy

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