Here's how to create containers of show stopping blooms for your patio, deck and porch.
Plant Containers can be created from things you would otherwise throw away and this activity therefore has the double appeal of creating an attractive flower display while at the same time going green!
I have found that planting in old ice buckets or flour or sugar containers or pots and pans or even old boots or children's toys like wagons and doll cribs, produces an amazing effect. I love to put these out on the front of the house and see the number of adults and children that smile and comment to their friends as they pass. The fun is in the looking.
Sometimes the plant may be a little top heavy and unstable depending on the plant variety, but most of the time there is no problem. In fact when I first started I was disappointed to find that midway through the flowering season the plants lost their vigor. I gardening friend soon pointed out to me that I was not fertilizing. Plants in containers won't thrive if you don't fertilize. If you find this job too time-consuming, there's an easy way to do it: just mix slow-release fertilizer pellets into the top layer of potting soil.
You can also create wonderful multi-layered flow display by putting additional planting in hanging containers or by raising the containers to allow drainage on forms and tables. Just make sure that you have devised a watering access strategy for the higher hanging baskets though or you will strain your arms stretching up to water, and quite possibly make yourself wet while doing it to the bargain!
If you don't have containers that you can recycle, any type of clay planter pots that have drainage holes in the bottom and "saucers" to keep the soil from washing away, will work just fine; pick a size that fits the area you intend to grow your display blloms and how many containers you have. My local garden centre sells a 2O Inch Oval Planter is 6 1/2 inches tall from the bottom of the saucer and about 9 1/2 inches at the broadest point. It holds four or five annuals or small herbs or two large ones, and takes 2 gallons of soil. I have obtained outstanding results from plants growing in this manner.
Another tip is to make an arrangement of plants in your basket at the garden centre before you buy. You may see the other shoppers looking rather strangely at you but why not? You'll easily find out whether the combination of colors/leaf textures, and growth habits, plus blooms will work together. Remember, if you cannot make up your mind on what pot would suit the plant, experiment, and don't be afraid to try something original. You can always re-pot the following year into a more preferred style. I find that a wide-based and tall container can be placed as a contrast, with larger plants to be a focus rather than a background.
In situations where my house plants have obviously had the attention of some leaf munchers, I isolate them in a plastic bag with a no-pest strip overnight. That procedure usually works quite well for me.
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