Adding a pop of color with a container of annuals; growing fresh herbs for cooking; utilizing a small space for a vegetable garden…all are great reasons for employing containers around your yard. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a champion container gardener in no time!
- Use your creativity when choosing a container. Especially for containers used for annuals, the only real requirement is a bit of drainage so roots don’t get moldy from sitting in water. So before throwing away that coffee can, employ a drill for the drainage holes and a liberal coating of spray paint and voila! A cute planter for a pansy to be tucked into a corner somewhere.
- Use packing peanuts to lighten a large pot. In bigger planters, place packing peanuts in the bottom prior to adding soil to help lighten the pot. You’ll want to use plants with a shallower root system, but you’ll be happy when it comes time to move that large planter!
- Mix and match herbs and annuals. Think about mixed-use plantings for larger planters: herbs in the middle, surrounded by a few annuals and maybe some trailing greenery to flow over the sides.
- Water and feed. Feed and water. Container plants will almost always require daily watering. Add water with a light spray or shower setting until it starts leaking out the bottom of the pot. With frequent watering, soil can be quickly leached of needed nutrients, so keep the recommended feeding schedule on the plant’s tag to ensure healthy container plants.
- Prune as needed to keep plants manageable. Some plants will need to be pinched back to maintain a suitable size for the container in which they’re planted. Examples include trimming new flowers and leaves on a tomato plant to force fruit growth over leaf growth, trimming any old or diseased leaves and pinching/using herb leaves regularly to promote young leaves (which usually taste better).