Container Gardening 101
I know that most of you probably planted up your flower pots and your seasonal color beds this weekend if it wasn’t too muddy in your lawn from the nice bit of moisture we just received. However, I bet there are many of you that still need to get your containers planted. I wanted to use the opportunity on today’s TV segment (www.denverchannel.com) to show our viewers how to plant a container for flowers or vegetables (or both!) if they don’t know where to start.
There are 5 easy steps to planting a wonderful container:
1. Choose Your Container– When choosing a container, be sure you think about where it is going. Containers are made of all materials now such as terra cotta, plastic, concrete, wood and metal to name a few. Different materials have different life spans and can effect the watering requirements too. Make sure you have drainage in the bottom of your containers. Plants do not like to be sitting in water – they do prefer to dry out between waterings. Consider a slightly larger pot so you won’t have to water as often.
2. Use a new soil mix – You always want to start off the year with fresh soil. I recommend a bagged potting soil. This is to prevent any insects or disease issues that may be present. After you’ve made sure you have drainage in your pots, fill the soil up to about 2″ below the rim.
3. Choose your plants – If your pot is in the shade then you’ll need shade-loving plants and if your plant is in the sun, then you should plant plants that can handle being in the sun. If you are incorporating vegetables, they need to be in full-sun containers or they will not thrive. In addition to location, you need to consider something tall for the back or the center, medium high growing plants for around the middle and then plants that are mounding or trailing for the edges.
4. Plant – Remove your plants from the plastic or peat container carefully. Loosen up the bottom of the soil and roots so that the roots can grow easily in the container. I recommend either planting the center first and working your way out towards the pot or if you are planting your tall items in the back of the pot, start with them first. I always plant my trailing plants last to have them placed in just the right spots for them to spill over the edges as they grow all summer long. Add a thin layer of potting soil over all your plants.
5. Water and Fertilize Regularly– Water your container. Depending on the size and location of your containers, you’ll need to water approximately every day. The smaller the pot, the more often you’ll need to water, especially if it is in the full sun. Also, consider fertilizing your flower pots frequently. Container gardens require frequent waterings and constant blooming flowers which can create a need for nutrient supplements. As I mentioned earlier, you can use a soil blend that contains a slow-release fertilizer or you can you a liquid or powder version every few weeks to keep your flowers blooming and bursting with color! (Don’t forget a saucer to prevent soil stains on your patio or table!)
I think if you follow these 5 simple steps – you will be delighted with the container gardens you plant. Whether it’s seasonal color flowers or vegetables (or both!), I hope you enjoy your works of art all season long!
Thanks for watching Channel 7’s Bertha Lynn & I every Monday at 11:30 a.m. Click here to watch today’s segment:
If you think that you may need help planting your pots or flower beds, please contact Designscapes Colorado at 303-721-9003. We’d be happy to help you add some color!