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Find out which type of container gardening works best for you.
Searcy, Ark. – Many White County residents have limited space to garden. Outdoor
pots can be "landscaped" just like the rest of your outdoors. And these planted containers
can be worked into your larger landscape to dress up existing plantings.
One way to heighten the drama of these two features is to place the containers by
the front door. Plantings such as pink mandevilla, skirted in English ivy can be
made to compliment a border of hardy garden mums and a basket of blooming ivy geranium.
1. ’Bouquet containers’, which combine three or four plants in one pot to create
contrast, color, and grace.
2. ’Accent containers’, which feature a prominent, eye-catching plant not usually
seen in pots, such as a shrub rose or even an evergreen tree.
3. ’Moveable gardens’, a collection of different sized pots and plants that look
good on their own, but also complement each other, creating added visual impact.Maybe the most endearing attribute of container planting is its mobility. This feature
can be exploited to make you seem to be a better gardener than you actually are.
Pots can be rotated, with showy blooming containers coming to the front while those
which have finished blooming are moved to a restorative site. Groupings can be shuffled
around, like rearranging furniture, for altogether new looks. If company's coming
tomorrow and your containers are not just so, it's easy to zip out an underwhelming
or underperforming plant and plop in a replacement flower that just happens to be
in full glory. Container colors cheer up the places you spend the most time, such
as chaise-side in the backyard.
A flowering bouquet is lackluster if it isn't flowering. To avoid container lulls,
plant flowers that stay in bloom for extended periods like lobelia, an extended bloomer
that thrives in partial sun. You can tuck vegetables such as strawberries, tomatoes,
parsley, and pepper into your bouquets of lobelia, viola, petunia, and dahlia, but
they are heavy feeders and need extra fertilizer.
By grouping plants according to their cultural needs, you will accomplish two things:
In potting up your containers, add a slow-release granular fertilizer to the potting
mix. It's a great time saver and a bit of an insurance policy.
1. First, cover the drainage hole with pebbles, broken clay pots, or packing "peanuts."
The peanuts make the completed pot lighter and easier to transport. Make sure to
use the truly peanut-shaped little noodles, not the concave or hollow ones, which
will hold water and possibly rot roots. Fill with potting mix to planting depth.
2. Plant the central upright plant, which is the tallest one. If the pot is to be
shoved up against a wall or backdrop, put the tall plant in the back.
3. Plant the skirt. Add soil and position low trailers and cascading plants around
4. Tuck in mid-level plants, sweeping around your star-performer and rising to greet
it. Water thoroughly, avoiding blooms and leaves, when possible. Add more soil if
settling occurs and remember to deadhead (remove spent blossoms) as the season progresses.
Check out the AR Foods blog post on "salsa" container-gardens.
By Sherri Sanders County Extension Agent - AgricultureU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service2400 Old Searcy Landing Rd. Searcy, AR 72143 (501) 268-5394 firstname.lastname@example.org