3 Easy Tips for Successful Container Gardening
Here are several tips for creating a wonderful hanging basket or container this summer. The first is to use an artificial soil composed mostly of peat moss. Good soils such as Fafard or Pro-Mix use perlite, peat, and other ingredients to produce a soil that will not compact over the summer. Real garden soil compacts and turns into concrete under the pressure of regular watering. And when it does, plant roots stop growing because they require good open spaces to move into and absorb nutrients. Hard, compacted soils do not grow good plants so do not use real soil in your containers. I re-use my artificial potting soil from year to year. I dump it out of the pot. Chew it up with a shovel to cut up all last year’s roots and add approximately 10 % by volume of compost. The compost increases air spaces and gives plants a boost in healthy nutrition.
Feed your plants weekly. Nitrogen, the engine of plant growth, is water soluble and as you water your containers from the top the dissolved nitrogen is leaving from the bottom. I use a fish-emulsion liquid feed with seaweed to provide all the trace nutrients my plants require and recommend it highly. You can use any liquid plant food (like Miracle Grow or Shultz) to promote growth. Compost tea is the Cadillac of liquid plant food and if you make your own compost tea, your plants will respond with bigger and better blooms as well as increased vigour.
And finally, no matter the size of the container, it is important to soak it all the way to the bottom at each watering. Continue watering until water emerges from the pot bottom. This ensures the roots can reach all parts of the container and grow properly.
5 Quick Gardening Tips to Save You Money
It’s easy to spend a fortune every year creating a beautiful yard. These five tips can help save you money in both this, and future gardening seasons.
1. Plan your vegetable garden according to what your neighbors are planting so you can share your vegetables when they’re ready for eating. Often I’ve had too many of one kind of vegetable I couldn’t give away because my friend’s were ripe at the same time.
2. Select perennials rather than annuals for your flowerbeds. As they multiply each year, cut them back and exchange with your friends so you both have lovely gardens and save money at the same time.
3. Compost your kitchen scraps, as well as your coffee grounds. The end result is much better than any potting soil you can ever get buy from a nursery or hardware store. The price is right, and this is definitely recycling!
4. Instead of using mulch, try pebbles or small rocks in your garden as ground cover. This will save you lots of cash since you won’t need to buy mulch in the spring and fall of every year.
5. Spend more money now by purchasing better quality gardening tools and you will save in the long run. They will last for years, saving you dollars because you don’t need to replace them every planting season. Same goes for gardening gloves- make sure you buy the best you can afford so they last all season.