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Container Gardening


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  • 1. ContainerGardeningContainer Gardens Go Wild
  • 2. Benefits of ContainerGardening  Adds lots of impact in a small space  Is easy to maintain for a variety of lifestyles, less work than a large garden, can choose your own size  Outlet for creativity  Instant, portable landscape  Available to anyone with a window, balcony, deck, doorstep or yard.
  • 3. Benefits of ContainerGardening  Is an option for the disabled, elderly or homeowner/apartment dweller with little or no land  Is a way to have fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs at anytime  Creates a new environment with less effort and problems  Gardener controls all variables; plants, water, sunlight, fertilizer
  • 4. Examples
  • 5. Select your area  Find a spot  Analyze the sunlight area receives throughout day.  Take advantage of aluminum foil, white painted surfaces, marble chips to increase available light  Herbs/vegys require 6+ hours, even in Houston  Container angle and perspective
  • 6. Select a Container  Avoid containers with small diameter openings  Adequate drainage, if none improvise including bricks, feet  Avoid containers with toxic chemicals  Remember larger containers weight more, consider dollies with wheels  Self-watering containers  Light-colored containers
  • 7. Typical ContainerMaterials  Wood is susceptible to rot – consider plastic liner  Terracotta dries quick, good drainage with air movement in root zone  Fiberglass is expensive but lasts, lightweight, attractive.  Others?
  • 8. Typical Containers more  Plastic containers breakdown over time  Metal –galvanized tubs – great if not moving, make bold statement  Self-watering conversion kit inserts (see gardener’s supply)
  • 9. Color Principles  Use more than one color to give a container or planting more dimension and make the planting more interesting  Color is not only the flowers but also foliage.
  • 10. Cool Colors  Blue and violet hues  Area will seem to recede when colors used  Very subdued, tranquil look
  • 11. Warm Colors  Red, yellow and orange hues  Area will seem to stand out when warm colors are used  Fun, vibrant look
  • 12. Types of Plants  Select plants with similar needs: water, light, nutrients  Succulents same low water, bright light  Plant container plants at the same time as if planting in beds  Over-planting is recommended for effect  Consider year-round interest with ornamental grasses, evergreen and deciduous dwarf trees/shrubs
  • 13. Select plants according togrowth habits and foliage  Select for growth habits/form (upright, weeping, tufted, branching, climbing, prostrate, dense or airy)  Mix three types of growth habits in pot  Provide vertical interest in center or back  Filler plant at base of tall adds interest and foliar interest  Trailer droops over edge of a pot and breaks harsh lines of pot edge
  • 14. Theme Color examples, pink and white full sun (pink flowering begonia vinca, rose pink geranium, white petunia, white snapdragon, white nicotiana) Butterfly attracting (buddleia, bee balm, salvia, coreopsis, echinacea, liatris) Scented plants (geraniums, herbs) Multi-season interest (evergreen with spring bulbs, hostas, ferns) and impatiens
  • 15. Problem areas  Make sure plants can be maintained at the preferred height, typically no more than 2X the container height  Make sure foliage is not too similar, avoid a mass of boring solid colored foliage  Consider under-planting bulbs beneath herbaceous plants
  • 16. Soil Mixes  If you provide a good environment for the roots, the top will take care of itself.  When plants, leave a gap at container edge for water and mulch (1-2”)  Do not use soil from yard  Select soil mix based on plant needs  Succulents sedums and cacti prefer a less nutrient-rich mix that does not retain water.
  • 17. Selecting soil mixes  Annuals, perennials, vegetables need a mix that retains water with higher nutrient content. Slow release fertilizers are good additions to mixes.  Plants benefit from water-holding crystals incorporated into soil at time of planting
  • 18. Selecting soil mixes  Water during the summer one or two times a day.  Create mix: equal parts peat moss, garden loam, sand/perlite, and slow release fertilizer.  If container is large, fill base with styrofoam, place plastic tray with drain holes on top of styrfoam and cover with soil mix
  • 19. Maintaining YourContainer Garden  Provide more/new soil each year for perennials, trees, shrubs.  In Houston, top dress multiple times/year  Water in mornings to decrease risk of disease and virus, and in early evening if necessary (avoid wetting leaves)  Prune and deadhead religiously
  • 20. Feed Me Perennials, fast growing, High N in spring for growth, K rich for flowers, 14-21 days Annuals and bedding plants, high performance and hungry! Generous feed at planting; liquid feed weekly Vegetables and fruits also greedy!! N to start growth, K for fruiting
  • 21. N–K–P N for greeN - Nitrogen rich for leaf growth K for potassium – flower and fruit growth/development P for phosphorous – for root development.
  • 22. Protection  Monitor for pests daily—small size makes it easy to stay on top of pests  Rubber snakes  Netting  Foil  Pinwheels
  • 23. Herbs  Grows well in full to partial sun (6 hours or more) but in Houston, avoid direct afternoon sun.  In hot climates, these might still need watering twice a day even though most herbs are drought tolerant. They’re tougher to grow in Houston’s summer heat
  • 24. Herbs  Typically do well in strawberry jars. Plant with lots of variety.  Strawberry jars offer trailing plants room  Water bottle/pvc trick  Know the growth patterns of plants (mint, fennel, dill, thyme  Plant tallest herbs at top of jar  Plant bottom up
  • 25. Annuals  Have a long bloom time. May need to replant annuals for hot and cold seasons  Require deadheading for appearance and to prevent seed development  Need lots of water and fertilizer to continue blooms and displays  Lots of variety in size, shape, texture; sun and water requirements.
  • 26. Annual Options forContainers  Sun: Marigolds, Begonias, spikes, Petunias, Geraniums, Portulaca, Million Bells, Pansies, Lantana, Coleus, Sweet Potato, Asparagus, fern, Gomphrena, Dusty Miller, Salvia, Annual Vinca, Nicotiana, Blue daze, ageratum, Alyssum, Celosia, Dianthus Nasturtium, snapdragon, Verbena, Zinnia
  • 27. Annuals  Shade – Impatiens, begonias, Caladiums, Wandering Jew, Lobelia
  • 28. Annual Containers
  • 29. Perennials  Typically incorporated into pots with other plants due to limited bloom time  Do not need to be replanted every year like annuals and most vegetables  Like annuals, perennials have a wide variety of sun and water requirements.  Perennials will require winter protection during cold spells
  • 30. Some Perennial options  Sun-Sage, black-eyed Susans, Veronica, Verbena, Yarrow, Stokesia, Iris, Daylilies, Mums, Gaillardia, Sedum, Shasta daisy (MORE)  Shade-Hosta, Dahlia, Astilbe, Daylilies (MORE)
  • 31. PerennialContainers
  • 32. Vegetables/Fruits Need at least 6 hours sunlight and high water/nutrient requirements May need to be staked to support fruit Can be planted with companion plants (tomatoes/marigolds) Hanging pots with vegetables surrounded on ground by sunflowers and sweet peas.
  • 33. Possibilities  Tomatoes, peppers,  Banana, blueberries, eggplant, green blackberries, onions, beans, strawberries, citrus, lettuce, squash, peaches, apples, radishes, pole beans pomegranate and cucumbers (dwarf), lime, orange dwarf fruit trees
  • 34. Vegetable Containers
  • 35. Succulents and Cacti  Drought tolerant  Minimal nutrients  Winter hardy in our zone, with some protection for most severe weather  Needs drainage  Great for bird feeders and shallow fountains and other dishes
  • 36. Succulents andCacti
  • 37. Shrubs and Trees  Can be under-planted to provide year round color and living mulch  Shrubs: Bay, boxwood, holly, acuba, azalea, camellia, quince, pyrancantha, eucalyptus, rhododendron, juniper, butterfly bush, Japanese plum yew  Tree: Japanese maple, redbud, crepe myrtle, fruit trees
  • 38. Container Size forvegetables  1-2 gallons - pepper, chard  4-5 gallons - tomatoes, cucumbers  6-10” diameter pots: leafy greens, beets, radishes, onion
  • 39. Grow Bags  Garden anywhere  Polypropylene bags designed to hold water and soil, allows air movement  Herbs, potatoes, strawberry, peppers, tomatoes, salads,
  • 40. Recommended reading  Succulent Container Gardens by Debra Lee Baldwin  Container Gardener’s Bible by Joanna K. Harrison and Miranda Smith  New Low Maintenance Garden by Valerie Easton  Contained Garden, The by Kenneth A. Becket, David Carr, and David Stevens  Crops in Pots by Bob Purnell  Container Gardening (magazine)
  • 41. It’s just fun!
  • 42. Grandparents?Favorite aunts/uncles?
  • 43. Every fashion show endswith a wedding dress