Follow these Container Gardening Tips and enjoy an abundance of colorful garden flower pots around your house.
Being succcessful with container gardening with these tips is easy! Learn about choosing best flowering plants for containers and how to look after them.
Beautiful garden pots can really enhance the look of your garden, patio or balcony. Well placed and planted pots are great focal points and enhance and interest in otherwise lacking areas of your garden. They can also be used to distract the eye from unsightly places or to e.g. mark an entrance.
Of course you can also have a container herb garden or grow vegetables in pots on your patio. Particularly herb pots can look very attractive mixed into your container garden with the added benefit of producing delicious herbs for your kitchen.
During the last 15 years of running a garden centre I guess I have seen nearly every mistake people can make with their garden planters. Garden pots do need care and maintenance to look well. If you are not prepared to look after your pots you will end up with some shabby looking plants you would be better off without! (Sorry to be honest!)
But I will share some container gardening tips and secrets with you that will give you the expected result with as little care possible and your pots will look (nearly) as stunning as the ones in the magazines!
Here are the most common mistakes people make with their plant pots:
Choosing the wrong pot: this is one of the most common mistakes. Plant pots are often chosen too small. It is much easier to keep plants healthy and vigorous in a larger container. They don't dry out as quickly and have more rooting space than smaller pots which results in less stress for the plants. Also important is that the pot has sufficient drainage.
Choosing the wrong soil: Investing into good quality potting compost is half the battle! And no, plain garden soil won't do the trick because it gets rock hard in the pot! Get rid of old potting compost that is left from the previous year. It will have broken down, has no more nutrients and might harbor pests like vine weevils.
Choosing the wrong plants: Not all plants are suitable for container growing. Some just get too big or need a lot of rooting space to be happy. Choose easy to grow flowers and plants that don't require a lot of maintenance, pruning or spraying.
Slow-release fertilizer: these are 'intelligent' fertilizers. The nutrients are contained in a granule with a permeable coat. Depending on temperature and moisture the granules will release more or less nutrients. Depending on which one you buy the nutrients will last from several months up to a year.
So if it is warm and there is adequate moisture the growing conditions are ideal and more nutrients are provided for plant growth. You can buy these slow-release fertilizers separately and mix them into your compost at the right rate. Alternatively there are container composts available that already have the granules mixed in.
Swell Gel or Water Storing Crystals: This gel can be mixed into the compost and will help to store moisture. This will reduce the watering frequency...but it won't eliminate Watering! This is great product for hanging baskets, window boxes and small containers that are hard to keep watered during hot summer days.
Self-watering Containers: these plastic planters have a water reservoir at the bottom that the plants can tap into. They are a bit more expensive than the ordinary pots and window-boxes. This might be worth it though if you can't water your plants several times a day if nescessary.
Check out this page for some tasks that are critical for successful container gardening
Photo Credit for Photos 2 and 3: ukgardenphotos
Seaside Garden Center, Renard Rd, Caherciveen, Co. Kerry, Ireland