Liven up any living space
Who doesn’t love the taste of a sun-ripe tomato or a sprig of fresh mint in their ice tea on a hot summer day? How about the vibrant colors that only annuals can bring to your porch, or the smell of flowers the hummingbirds just can’t pass up? Container gardens for small spaces is your answer!
You don’t have to have a big yard or live in the country all you need is a couple pots, a sunny location and you are on your way to enjoying the taste and smells of a sweet South Carolina Summer.
Here are some quick and easy tips to get you started:
Choosing a container:
- You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to choosing a container for your mini garden. Pots and planters come in an array of sizes and shapes, but don’t limit yourself to what you can find at the garden center. Look in your garage, in your mother’s attic or a second-hand store and choose containers that reflect your personality.
- When choosing a container keep in mind that plants will grow better in large containers rather than small ones. Their roots need room to expand and will thrive if they have plenty of room to grow all season long. Larger containers also hold more soil and moisture and will not dry out as fast as smaller containers.
- Whatever container you choose, drainage holes are essential. Without drainage, soil will become waterlogged and plants may die. A container without holes is better used as a catch pot to hide a plain pot. To keep the soil from washing out of the drainage holes, try placing a piece of newspaper over the holes before you add the soil mix.
Deciding on a location:
- If keeping containers watered during the day is a problem, look for sites that receive morning sun and are shaded during the hottest part of the day, even if you are growing plants for full sun. Afternoon shade will reduce the amount of moisture plants need, and they won’t succumb to the stress of the hot sun and low moisture.
Filling your container:
- Your pots will get very heavy once filled, so try to fill them as close to their final destination as possible.
- Plain garden soil is too dense for container gardening so choose a planting mix for the best results. Most potting soil has no added nutrients, so you need to add them to bi-weekly feedings.
- Before filling your pot, pre–moisten your soil. The soil needs to be uniformly moist before planting.
- Almost any vegetable, flower, or herb can grow successfully in a container garden and produce or bloom all season long. To keep your container attractive all summer long, look for warm-weather annuals that bloom all summer.
- Use your imagination and plant a themed container. Plant a salad garden with colorful lettuces, dwarf tomatoes, chives and parsley. Or try an Italian garden with plum tomatoes, basil and peppers. Or try your hand at an edible flower garden with marigolds, pansies, and mint. The possibilities are endless!
- If you are having trouble deciding how many plants to buy, take a picture of your pot or carry it to the garden center. We will help you figure it out.
- When choosing plants, make sure they will play well together. This means that all the plants in one pot should require the same amount of light and moisture to live together happily. Plant sun plants with sun plants and shade plants with shade plants.
Upkeep and maintenance:
- Keeping your plants healthy depends on a few factors...water, fertilizer and sunlight.
- To keep your pots from drying out, spread a layer of mulch around your plants in the pot, keeping the mulch away from the plant stem. Don’t let the soil completely dry out.
- Water your container when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Water until some liquid comes out of the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
- The easiest way to provide fertilizer to your plants is to incorporate a slow release fertilizer into the soil when you plant your container. They will need regular feedings every two weeks.
- Most mini-gardens serve as focal points in small areas so keep them looking their best by deadheading and pruning back leggy plants. When maintaining their flowers and leaves, keep an eye out for pests like aphids and mites.
Growing your plants in containers is the perfect way to liven up any living space …no matter where you live. Fresh flowers and vegetables are only a small green thumb away!
Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!
Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091