Spring Planting May 18, 2023

Want to Spruce up Your Front Steps or Back Patio? Think Container Gardens!

It’s the perfect time of year to start a garden. There are a variety of plants that will thrive within the confines of a container. Just make sure they have good light, plenty of water, and proper drainage.

Here are some things to consider:

Size. Always buy a bigger pot than you think you’ll need. Large pots need to be watered far less frequently while smaller pots hold less soil, so they tend to dry out faster. And if you have the room, consider grouping pots in a variety of colors and sizes for added interest.

• Material. Think about the material of the pot. To reduce watering needs in hot summer weather, choose non-porous materials, such as glazed ceramic, fiberglass, resin or metal. Or if you need to move your plants frequently, fabric planter bags are a lighter option.

• Potting Soil. A good potting soil retains moisture and nutrients while allowing air around the roots. Regular dirt from the ground is likely to compact and trap in too much water. Organic potting soils provide plants with a slow-release source of nutrients and skips the synthetic chemical fertilizers that could burn tender roots.

• Drainage. It’s important. If your pot is larger that 36” in diameter, it should have more than one hole for drainage, preferably two or three. And remember, stones or gravel placed in the bottom of a pot does not improve drainage. Also, make a habit of watering in the morning to deter pests and fungal diseases.

• Organize. Lay out the plants first to see if they fit and how they will look together before you put them in the soil. This will ultimately save you time. And if you’d like to support wildlife, be sure to include some pollinator plants in your container garden plans.

Finally, don’t be too impulsive and buy whatever plants strike your fancy. Check in with your local gardening expert for the best varieties in your area. Then just follow these simple tips, sit back and enjoy a lush oasis—all within arms reach!