Monthly Archives: May 2022

Container Gardening Success – Part 2

In Part 1 on container gardening, we discussed some advantages to container planting, material choices, and soil needs. We’ll continue the discussion here in Part 2 with growing suggestions and how to keep up on maintaining your containers:

What to Grow

Anything can grow in a container as long as it has space. Even trees can thrive in a big enough pot. Most people, however, opt for flowers, herbs, and vegetables. When mixing plants, make sure you combine varieties that like the same amount of water, sunlight, and nutrients. For example, tomatoes, chives, basil, and parsley go well together. For shady planters, combining coleus, impatients, begonias, caladium, and fuchsias is a good choice. If you have a sunny spot, heat-tolerant plants like zinnias, petunias, snapdragons, geraniums, and alyssum look beautiful together for several months. For a big impact, go for a layered look and mix up different shapes and colors. But that doesn’t mean you have to combine if you don’t want to. Grab a mixed bag of petchoas or plant different colored petunias together for symmetry that’s still stunning and vibrant. Whatever you choose to plant, make sure you start off with strong, healthy plants.

Maintenance Needs

To keep your container garden looking beautiful all season, remove faded or dying blooms by deadheading each week. Clip away flower heads on larger species with shears or pop off the tops with your fingers for smaller floral blooms. For tiny flowers, use scissors or lawn clippers to shear back the plant as needed.

Make sure you’re watering your containers consistently, but don’t over water. It’s common to drown your plants because you’re worried the container is drying out. If you have hanging planters, they’ll likely need a little more water because they drain so effectively. Test the soil with your finger and only water based on the needs of what you’ve planted. If you have drip trays, be sure to drain any standing water. Waterlogged plants won’t survive long, so drainage is crucial for all plants.

No matter how well you maintain your container garden, plants sometimes don’t make it all season. With container gardening, it’s easy to pop out a dead plant and replace it with a one or two new ones. Switching out a couple plants that are past their prime will give your container a second life for the rest of the season.

Prep for Winter

Once your container garden is done for the season, don’t leave it outside full of the dead plants. You’ll want to clear it all out and bring them inside, especially if you have ceramic or terra-cotta pots, which can crack during freezes. This is also a great time to prepare for your spring bulbs and get them prepped so they’re ready to pull out at the beginning of next season.

For all your planting needs, The Dirt Bag has everything you need to get your garden started off right. Our high-quality products are exactly what your plants are looking for.

Container Gardening Success – Part 1

Container Gardening Success – Part 1

Container gardening is a great way to bring beauty to your yard. Plants aren’t picky about where they’re put as long as they have enough room for their roots grow, proper waterings and drainage, and good soil full of necessary nutrients. You can have total control over your garden with containers, and it’s easy to stay on top of your plants’ needs when they’re contained in, well, a container.

Advantages of Containers

With container planting, there is less chance for pests and diseases, and if you do start noticing a problem, it’s easier to manage and remedy. You can also control the soil balance, pH levels, sunlight exposure, and water amounts easily. With the ability to move the pots around, you can extend the growing season by bringing plants inside the garage when needed or by starting the growing season indoors before it’s safe to do so with possible frosts outside. Plus, with the many container options, you are able to bring uniqueness and personality to your yard.

Materials

Get your creative juices flowing and explore the many options for container planting. We’ve seen amazing gardens in old bathtubs, wheelbarrows, five-gallon buckets, dug out tree stumps, repurposed barn wood, and even vintage truck beds. The versatility of materials makes container gardening a fun and enjoyable project. Just make sure you add some drainage holes about a half inch wide to avoid clogging issues and that you don’t use a product that can leach harmful chemicals or substances into the soil.

Soil and Amendments

One critical aspect of container gardening is the soil. You may think it’s okay to pour in some dirt from your garden, but that isn’t ideal for your plants. The dirt will harden too much when it dries, and it won’t have enough important nutrients for your plants to thrive all summer. Instead opt for a high-quality potting soil that contains peat, manure, and perlite, such as our 100% organic Garden Soil Plus. This product is perfect for veggie or flower gardens as well as containers and planter boxes, and you can plant directly into this soil—no need to mix with other products.

Even with a quality soil, you’ll want to fertilize your container gardens. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize about two to four weeks after planting and then reapply about once every two weeks. Some plants, especially veggies, may require more or less, so read the labels or come in and ask us for assistance. You can also add mulch to your container to maximize water retention and preserve the nutrients all season long. We call mulch your personal helper in a garden because of its many benefits. Protect roots, prevent weeds, repel pets, and be water wise with proper mulch application.

Container gardening gets more popular each year, and with good reason. Container gardening is great way to have control over your plants throughout the hot summers. We have a lot to say about container gardening, so be sure to check our Part 2 of this blog series.