Time to try container gardening!

Most of the state has been blessed with refreshing rain showers since our last visit and these have inspired new growth and energy from most of our plants.   Most crop farmers do not have irrigation and have to depend on natural rainfall.  Home gardeners have the advantage in that they can water their crops in times of drought or stress.  Make sure to take time to walk and enjoy your yard and soak your flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs and lawn as they need water.

We were surprised this last week with some unusual May temperatures down in the 30’s but we should be done with those cold nights until late fall.  This is a great time to plant most everything from warm season vegetables and annual flowers to trees, shrubs and grass seed.  It is a great season of the year to spend time out in the yard enjoying the fresh air, natural sunlight and spring breezes while adding to your plantings.  It is also a good time to fertilize your lawn, trees, shrubs and flowers if you have not fed them yet this spring.  Don’t forget to water well after applying the fertilizer if you are not able to time it to apply just before a soaking rain.

I love container gardens as they are a great way to decorate your porch, patio or even to add height and make a statement in your flowerbeds or along driveways or sidewalks.  Container gardening can really allow you to express your personality or showcase your design flair.  There are endless possibilities in the types and styles of containers from the old style whisky barrels and wheel barrows to countless ceramic, plastic, metal, fiberglass, concrete and moss or coir lined baskets.  After you select the containers you want to use, add a well drained soil mix and then let your imagination run free as you select the plant or plants to highlight.  For years container gardens mainly featured geraniums or geraniums with sprengeri fern, orange or banana trees, hibiscus or other tropicals.  You can certainly still use those traditional container garden plants but today’s container gardens are often living works of art limited by few rules.

We can use evergreen shrubs, roses or  flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses, vegetables and of course the thousands of types of blooming annuals and perennials.  You can add trellis’s to the container and train a vining crop up the trellis or let it cascade out of the pot.  You can even mix vegetables and annuals in the same pot or container.  Remember that the larger the container with greater soil volumes, the less often it will dry out and need extra watering.  Smaller containers and hanging baskets will dry out more often and will require more hand watering.   You can reduce watering by adding polymer “water absorbing” crystals to your soil mix and mulching the top of the container.

Many folks have joined the container gardening trend by raising their own herbs, peppers, eggplants or tomatoes on apartment balconies or patios.  Don’t limit yourself to just flowers or just vegetables but try container gardens of both.  This is your chance to be a plant artist and create your own living art.



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