Thursday, April 29, 2010

DIY: Container Gardening

Nebraska's frost-free date is right around the corner. Do you have May 10 circled on your calendar? Tobias and I can't wait to get started on our container garden.

Container gardening is the perfect solution for people with limited planting space or mobility issues. Container gardens can add a wonderful splash of color to an outdoor living space, make an entryway more inviting and provide fresh herbs for the kitchen.

Are you ready to get started?

Consider the size of the plants in relation to the size of your pot. It is important to leave a little bit of growing room. Most annuals will come with a tag that will have the mature height and width of the plant. This information is very helpful when planning your design. Different heights and textures will add interest and depth to your pots. Tobias prefers the large foliage plants, while I tend to go for the flowers, but a nice combination of both foliage and flowers makes for a design appealing to the eye.

Water and fertilizer are the keys to healthy, continuously blooming containers. When a plant is blooming, it is using an incredible amount of energy and nutrients to produce those flowers. However, when a plant doesn’t get enough moisture it goes into survival mode, which usually means dropping its blooms to conserve energy. Fertilizing your plants will provide them with the nutrients they need to keep flowering. There are many different fertilizers on the market and most people have a favorite. I have had great success with organic fertilizers. I look for organic fertilizers made specifically to increase blooms. It is important to read and follow the directions on the package. I like to find a fertilizer that can be applied weekly. I then alternate fertilizer and root starter once per week. Root starter can be found in the fertilizer section. With this schedule, you are supporting both top and root growth for a healthy, vigorous plant.

Removing spent blossoms (sometimes known as dead-heading) will also help your annuals keep flowering. When a blossom is done flowering, the plant actually uses a considerable amount of energy to get rid of the flower. By removing the spent flowers, the plant can use the energy to grow and to put on new blooms. This is more important for some annuals than for others. Geraniums will benefit from dead-heading more than a plant with small flowers like Lobelia.

Tobias and I hope you enjoy container gardening as much as we do. You can get more information on container gardening AND see a picture of Tobias and one of his pals in the May newsletter, so go to our website and check it out. Better yet, if you don’t already receive our newsletter, you can subscribe right from our website's home page.

We’d love to see pictures of your projects. Feel free to send them to us at Until the next time, happy gardening!
Rachael and Tobias (Meow!)

No comments:

Post a Comment