Add a bit of color, beauty and edibility to your front steps, patio or deck. Create a container filled with cool weather annual flowers, vegetables, and perennials. Here’s gardening expert, Melinda Myers how-to recipe, 'Spring Garden Container':
If designing your own container puts you into a panic try following these simple guidelines. And as you gain confidence and success you will be one of those seasoned gardeners that know guidelines are just that, a suggestion to get you started.
Include something tall to keep the planting in scale with the container and create a focal point (thriller). In general your mature planting should be twice as tall as the container. Excessively tall plantings dwarf the pot making it look unstable. Short plantings can be overpowered by a large container.
Use some trailing plants to anchor the planting to the pot. The fillers are the in-between plants that tie it all together.
So grab a cart, this recipe, and get started planting a bit of spring.
Here’s What You Need:
• Container with drainage holes that complements your home and landscape design
• Well-drained potting mix
• Slow release fertilizer (one application is usually enough) if not included in the potting mix you select
*Or a water soluble fertilizer that you will mix with water and apply throughout the season according to label directions
-Bright Light Swiss chard, ornamental kale and mustard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, ornamental grass, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, fragrant stocks, snapdragons
*Vinca vine, English ivy, dead nettle, golden moneywort
*Pansies, colorful lettuce, primrose, ornamental cabbage, dwarf snapdragon, grape hyacinths, squills, crocus
• Fun and Optional Items
*Include a bit of Sparkle
-Decorative obelisks, dried materials, colorful twigs, bamboo stems, and garden art add color and vertical interest
*Brighten things up with decorative solar lights
• Great Container accessories
*Ups-a-Daisy or Better than Rocks to create false bottom in large pots
*Potlifter makes large pots easy to move
*Harvest Guard to protect containers and plantings on frosty nights
Putting it together
• Fill the container halfway with a well-drained potting mix
*Use a false bottom to conserve potting mix and reduce the weight of large containers
• Incorporate a slow release fertilizer if your potting mix does not contain one – skip this step if you plan to use a soluble fertilizer throughout the season
• Arrange plants on the soil surface until you have the design you prefer
• Space them close together for quick results allowing the aggressive to overpower the timid
*or give them room to grow to their mature size
• Slide plants out of their container, gently loosen tangled roots and cover roots with soil.
• Gently tamp soil to eliminate air pockets and water
• Check daily and water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist
• Replace bulbs and fading cool weather plants with more heat tolerant flowers and vegetables to keep your container looking good all season long