Container Gardening


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Container Gardening

  1. 1. ContainerGardeningContainer Gardens Go Wild
  2. 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. 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. 4. Examples
  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 10. Cool Colors  Blue and violet hues  Area will seem to recede when colors used  Very subdued, tranquil look
  11. 11. Warm Colors  Red, yellow and orange hues  Area will seem to stand out when warm colors are used  Fun, vibrant look
  12. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 22. Protection  Monitor for pests daily—small size makes it easy to stay on top of pests  Rubber snakes  Netting  Foil  Pinwheels
  23. 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. 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. 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. 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. 27. Annuals  Shade – Impatiens, begonias, Caladiums, Wandering Jew, Lobelia
  28. 28. Annual Containers
  29. 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. 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. 31. PerennialContainers
  32. 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. 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. 34. Vegetable Containers
  35. 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. 36. Succulents andCacti
  37. 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. 38. Container Size forvegetables  1-2 gallons - pepper, chard  4-5 gallons - tomatoes, cucumbers  6-10” diameter pots: leafy greens, beets, radishes, onion
  39. 39. Grow Bags  Garden anywhere  Polypropylene bags designed to hold water and soil, allows air movement  Herbs, potatoes, strawberry, peppers, tomatoes, salads,
  40. 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. 41. It’s just fun!
  42. 42. Grandparents?Favorite aunts/uncles?
  43. 43. Every fashion show endswith a wedding dress