Container GardeningMade Easy Presented By: Jason Becker
Discussion Topics • Container Gardening • What is container gardening • 6 Steps to successful container gardening • Step #1 – Container Selection • Step #2 – Soil Quality • Step #3 – Plant Selection • Step #4 – Proper Planting • Step #5 – Fertilization • Step #6 – Water! • Container gardens in the landscape • Location Location Location
Container Gardening • What is Container Gardening? • Using plant materials in a container of some kind to make a point of interest. • Plants used: annuals, perennials, vegetables, dwarf trees, shrubs, cactus, tropicals, house plants and water plants. • It can be a combination of plants or the same plant. • Continues to be the leading trend for gardening in the US. • Time savings for a fast pace life. • Less maintenance. • Good starter garden for those who have not had much experience in the garden.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Step #1 – Container Selection • Questions to ask • Where will this container be located? • Full sun, part shade or shade exposure. • The more sun exposure the quicker the container will dry out. • How big do you need it to be? • A larger container will handle more sun exposure. • The larger the plants that you want, the larger the container you will need. • Plastic, pottery, metal, fiber or other? • Pottery and fiber will dry out quicker than others.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Step #2 – Soil Quality • Potting soil is the basis of a successful container garden. • Potting soil is made up of: • Perlite • Vermiculite • Peat moss • Bark fines of different sizes • Potting soil has no soil! • The majority of it is made up of peat moss which is actually a plant.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Positives & Negatives of soiless mixes. • Positives • Promotes stronger root growth by allowing water and oxygen to move through the container. • More healthy plant material. • Reduces diseases. • Weed seed free. • Negatives • Increased watering. • Leaching of nutrients. • When the soiless mix dries out it becomes very difficult to get hydrated again.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Container size and soil. • Soil in 12” containers or smaller should be completed dumped each year. • Soil in larger containers should have at least half of the soil dumped out each year. • Left over soil will have leached all nutrients and can promote insect infestation.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Soil amenities. • Water polymers • Water polymers are small granules that grow many times there size when exposed to water. • Creates a reservoir for the plant to use. • Roots grow into the polymer and take in the water when it is needed. • Helps keep a healthier plant during the hot summer. • Time release fertilizer • Recommended to keep your plant material healthy. • Releases fertilizer over a 3 month period. • Does not mean you do not have to hand water over the summer!
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Step #3 - Plant Selection • This is one of the hardest parts of developing your container garden. • Personal preference! • Must take into consideration where the planter will be located. • Full Sun = South side or West side exposure • Plants need more than ½ day sun. • Plants need the hot afternoon sun. • Part Sun = North side or East side exposure • Morning sun until noon. • Usually will not take the hot afternoon sun.
Color • Only 3 Rules to remember • Match similar sun exposure plants. • Consider how aggressive plants are. • No rules on combining plants, colors or textures. • Color, Texture & Height • Color : What do you like? • Color of pot. • Color of background.
Texture • Texture • Bloom shape. • Leaf shape & size. • Variations in color in the leaf. • Texture of the leaf • Fuzzy • Glossy • Wiry Spider Dahlia Sedum Angelina Euphorbia Coleus
Height • Height: • Give your container a centerpiece to build from. • Know the growth habit of the plants you are using. • Upright – how tall will it get? • Trailing • Mounding
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Step #4 – Proper Planting • Do not pull plant out of the pot by the plant. • Damage to the roots and stem of the plant can occur. • Turn pot upside down, squeeze the sides of the pot and tap the bottom while cupping the top of the pot to hold the plant and soil. • New plants should be placed at the same soil depth in the new container as it was in the old container. • Planting them too deep could choke the plant and stunt the growth.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Trim off ¾ of the flowers from the plant. • This will promote new root growth to get established in the container. • Also reduces planting stress by eliminating the energy needed to push flowers. • Once planted, water the container thoroughly in order to get water all through the container. • Allow the container to dry to the touch then water again.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Make your container full, but don’t put too many plants in or it will cause you more work. • More water. • More trimming. • Plants vs. Container Size • 6” and smaller – 1 plant • 8” – 1 or 2 plants • 10” – 3 to 4 plants • 12” – 4 to 6 plants • 12” pot with10 plants 2 varieties are very aggressive! They water this 3 times a day!
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Step #5 - Fertilization • Proper fertilization is very important with these new varieties. • Fertilize once a week from planting until you are done with the basket. • Recommended fertilizers. • Blooming & Rooting 9-59-8 (Fertilome Product) • Focuses on root development and bud set. • High in phosphate. • Miracle Grow 15-30-15 • Develops more foliage. • Darker green plants.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Time Release Fertilizer • Mixed in the soil when planting your container. • Slowly releases fertilizer through the summer. • Helps to maintain a nutrient balance in the soil to produce large healthy plants. • Fertilization schedule. • 1st 3 weeks after planting Blooming & Rooting. • 1 week Miracle Grow. • 3 weeks Blooming & Rooting. • Follow this through the rest of the summer.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • Step #6 – Water!!! • When to water? • Early growth stage you would water only when the container is dry. • Letting the soil dry and then getting it wet promotes healthy root development. • Consistently wet soil will damage roots. • Mature containers will need water daily. • Early morning or late evening are good watering times. • In the heat of the summer watering twice a day is necessary.
6 Steps to Successful Container Gardens • How much? • Young plant stage and cooler weather water just enough to soak in the 1st few inches and only when it is dry. • In the heat of the summer and during large growth stages, water until it starts to drain out the bottom. • Letting container go dry. • Damages roots and stunts the growth of the plant or kills the plant material. • Causes potting soil to shrink from the sides allowing all of the water to instantly run out the bottom. • Must soak the pot in a bucket to re-hydrate the soil and get it to expand. • Once it takes water again you can go back to normal watering.
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