Container Gardening • Excellent for a small area • Gardens can be grown inside or outside. • Offers endless opportunities. • Offers creative opportunities. • Provides you with options that are unavailable with permanent plantings.
Container Characteristics • Need to include a drainage hole(s). • Desired plant needs to match the container. • Containers need to compliment surrounding décor or architecture.
For wooden garden box, use rot-resistant wood for the containers. • CCA treated wood is usually chemically stable. • Terra-cotta pots are porous and can leach water. • Coat inside with paint • Plastic pots • Are impermeable • Less expensive • Lighter
Pots Wastebaskets Aquariums Waterproof bushel baskets Washtubs Hollowed-out logs Crates Bowls Crocks Urns Tubs Barrels Cans Pans Chimney flues Baskets Cement blocks Old pair of work boots Types of Containers
Soil for Containers • Growing media is extremely important. It must have the capability of holding water, but drain easily. • Ordinary garden soil is generally a poor choice. • Garden soil increases the risk of insect infestations and soil borne diseases.
The ideal growing media is a commercially prepared “soil-less” media. • Composed of the following materials: • peat moss or composted pine bark • sand • vermiculite and/or perlite • lime • minerals and nutrients • Light weight • Relatively expensive
Cost can be a factor when needing a large amount of potting media. • Fill container half full of styrofoam packaging peanuts or pine cones. • Container should be filled to within 2 inches of the top.
Seven Rules for Creative Container Gardens • . It is your garden! • Use any and as many container you want or can find.
. There are very few plants that can not be grown in a suitable container.
Watering • Plants in containers need watering more often. • Under-watering major problem in the summer. • Over-watering is the most common reason for container plants dying. • Finger test • Check bottom • Best time to water plants is in the morning. • Allows leaves and soil surface to dry.
Fertilizing • Frequent watering will wash the plant food out of the soil. • A regular feeding program • based on the type of plant. • during the growing season • slow release type plant food (Osmocote) • soluble complete fertilizer should be used every two weeks(Peter’s Special, Miracle-Gro., etc).
. Containers look better in a group. Unless your container is exceptionally decorative. Pots can be added, replaced or rearranged
. Grow permanent plants in their own container but add single season plants • better to use one plant per pot and group the pots
. Provide winter protection and guard against spring frosts. Container and roots can freezing during the occasional cold spells.
. Place permanent plants in proper size container. • Put in smaller containers and move up as plant get larger Time to move to larger container!!!
Types of Container Gardens • Desert garden • Tropical garden • Water garden • Herb garden • Vegetable garden
Container Gardening – A World of Possibilities Wayne Porter Area Horticulture Agent Mississippi State University Extension Service Meridian, MS