Container Gardening • Location and Purpose • Type of Containers • Plant Selections • Design • Maintenance • Hands-on Experience
Placement & Purpose • Apartment/Balcony vs. House/Deck, other suggestions • Windy Corner vs. sunny, protected spot • Single container placed in center of garden draws attention • Groups of containers • portable Garden • serve as divider provide movement (lead the eye)
Type of Containers (so many containers, so little time…) Plastic TerracottaPotteryWooden boxesHalf barrels Wire baskets lined with moss Wheel barrels Old boots Crates or baskets lined with a plastic bag Window boxes Hanging baskets Stone troughs Antique urns Old buckets …and many more • Some Facts to keep in mind: • Good drainage • Container Size & Weight • Container Material
Have Pot? Need Plant! Plant Selections • Shrubs (Rose, Hydrangea, Lavender ) • Annuals (Marigold, Nasturtium, Petunia) • Perennials (Geranium, Hosta, Heathers) • Herbs (Basil, Chives, Thyme) • Climbers (Clematis, Ivy, Wisteria) • Trees (Japanese Maple, Conifers) • Vegetables (Tomato, Cucumber, Artichoke (really LARGE pot)) • Rockery Plants (Lewisia, Phlox, Hen & Chicks)
Principles: Upright plants provide height Bushy or spreading plants form the backbone of the arrangement. Mix colors of the same type of plant • Trailing plants are planted in front to soften the outline and hide the pot or window box. If planter is decorative on its own, omit trailing plants • Add some contrast with foliage plants – green, red or variegated (coleus) plant densely if you want instant effect! As long as you water regularly & fertilize sufficiently, everybody will get along. Design – Make a Plan A sketch of your planting idea helps visualize results
Maintenance: Soil Requirements Get a potting mix like Miracle Grow Potting Mix (8 qt. bag - $4.99) or mix your own with deodorized steer manure & compost (1 cu. ft. – 99 ¢) and a couple handfuls of organic fertilizer. • Optional Additions: • Vermiculite if you are worried about weight of pot – adds air to the soil • Peat moss (1/3 by volume) if planting acid-lovers like heathers, rhododendrons or azaleas • Handful of wood ashes from fireplace to poppies, iris, herbs, other alkaline-lovers • Water-retaining gel pellets to hanging baskets if mixing your own.
Maintenance: Soil Requirements • I have the soil—what do I do now?? • Select a pot or container with drainage holes that is one size larger than the old pot. • Turn original pot upside down into your hand and tap it on the bottom several times to loosen the plant. • If the roots are tightly wound, gently slice the sides of the root ball in two or three places. • Prepare new soil by mixing with water to pliable consistency. • Place your potting mix in the bottom of the new pot and insert the plant stem or root ball. • Fill with more potting mix and press lightly. • Note:The plant should be at the same mix level as it was originally growing, and there should be about an inch of space from the top of the mix to the lip of the pot. • Add more water if needed, then allow to drain.
Maintenance: Water Requirements Basic rule Winter: little if any. Spring:if it rains heavily, water only a little. Summer: 80°F and above – water daily; rainless cool days 65-75 degrees every 4 days. Note:Water slowly (it’s therapy, remember ), until some water escapes the bottom of the pot. Type of Container Plants in porous clay pots need watering more often. To minimize watering needs, plant in plastic pot and insert it into a clay pot. The space between the pots can be insulated with peat moss, gravel or perlite.
Fertilize with slow- release pellets when you plant and continue with ½ strength Miracle Grow (or clone) twice a month during warm season. Clip & Snip: Cut off dead flowers as often as possible for continued bloom Renew 2x a year (or put in garage): take off top 6” of soil & replace with new potting mix. Replant with seasonal plants. Bugs & Disease: throw away & start over unless choice plant. Try dish soap spray with 4 drops hot sauce. Aphids are terrible on many plants. Plant First Aid:DRY, drooping, withering plant immediately water and cover with a plastic grocery bag (greenhouse ICU effect). Leave overnight. WET, droopy plant that drops leaves it is drowning! Take out of pot & let dry out. Water less frequently. General Maintenance through-out the year
Local Plant Connections Vassey Nursery 2424 Tacoma Rd.Puyallup, WA 98371 Thorsett Landscape Nursery 13501 SE 226th PlaceKent, WA 98042 The Garden of Eden1903 Shaw Road EastPuyallup, WA 98372 Portland Avenue Nursery 1409 East 59thTacoma, WA 98404 Oriental Garden Center30650 Pacific Hwy S.Federal Way, WA 98003 Furneys 21215 Pacific Highway SSeattle, WA 98198-6097 Windmill Gardens http://www.windmillgarden.com/ 5823 160th Ave EastSumner, WA 98390 Edgewood Flower Farmhttp://www.edgewoodflowerfarm.com/ 2017 Meridian Avenue EastEdgewood, WA 98371 Webers Nursery 17006 SE Wax RoadCovington, WA 98042 Watson's Greenhouse & Nursery6211 Pioneer Way EastPuyallup, WA 98371
Hands-on Plants Let’s go to the Greenhouse!