Convenience, elegance, variety, large or small, containers offer gardeners nearly endless possibilities for gardening. Container gardening, while rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing areas of gardening, has been around for centuries. Examples of the use of containers can be found dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Container gardening is an essential element in design and they can soften the rigid edges of patios, decks, entrances, and terraces. Containers allow gardeners to plant in small confined spaces outdoors or indoors, and can be flexible reflections of the gardeners tastes and personalities. With the use of containers of varying sizes and colors, gardeners can create focal points or define small spaces. Most importantly, containers offer homeowners the flexibility to adapt gardening to their individual spaces and change the look of an entire area with each passing season.
Before embarking on a container garden please consider the following suggestions.
Container Types: There are many types of containers to choose from. Don't just limit yourself to the standard terracotta pot. Be imaginative, look outside the box. Old boots, antique wheelbarrows, baskets from your grandmothers shed, containers are as diverse as our imaginations. Some of our favorite containers at Blooming Colors are the Vietnamese and Chinese planters. These planters are available in bright vivid colors as well as muted earth tones and are manufactured with durability in mind. These container types are fired at very high temperatures and can withstand the rapid temperature changes we experience in the south. Cast Iron containers many times lend themselves to formal settings and many consider these containers to be cost prohibitive. Cast iron however will last several lifetimes and should be considered an investment in one's home. We've known cast iron urns to be handed down over several generations. Whether you choose a non traditional container or the run of the mill, the choice is yours and should reflect your own personality and space.
Scale: Scale refers , not only to the size of your container choices relative to the space they will occupy, but also to the plants chosen for these containers. In large spaces containers need to be large enough to not become lost. Larger spaces offer gardeners the opportunity to choose really big planters and then add smaller ones of similar colors around to make a bold grouping. Plant materials should be chosen so the height of the largest plant in general is at least 1.5 times taller than the container. In addition to the tallest plant, a gardener should consider foliage texture, plant habit, foliage color, bloom color, and culture similarities when choosing plants.
Watering: Watering is the single most important factor in successful container gardening. First, be sure adequate drainage holes exist in your container choice. If the container is absent of drain holes you must create some before continuing the process. Once you are confident adequate drainage exists than you are ready to learn our cardinal rule of container gardening "It is nearly impossible to overwater containers in the south". While certainly there are exceptions to this rule such as containers in deep shade or winter containers, planters in the sun in the south during the summer are more times than not under watered. A mistake made all too often is the assumption that water seeping from the container means watering is complete. On the contrary, many times this reflects the fact that the container is so dry that the soil cannot absorb the water being applied and to stop watering can further aggravate an already droughty condition. Remember unlike plants growing in a natural environment, container plants have no way to derive water other than from rain or the gardener. Please stop in the store today to get further explanation on proper watering procedures.
Soil: Proper soil selection is imperative for vigorous growing plants in a container environment. Choose soils that are a peat moss base such as our own Baccto Lite soil or Hometown Pro soils. These two brands are peat moss based with a balance of perlite, vermiculite, and starter nutrients to provide the optimum growing environment for container gardening.
Go Vertical: Consider the importance of hanging gardens and wall gardens. The use of these elements can enhance dull brick walls, under large windows, or soften long runs of linear decking. There is hardly anything simpler or more elegant than large fern hanging containers. Vertical gardening allows us to be creative in higher places.
Vegetable Gardening: Containers sometimes provide the best alternative for successful vegetable gardening. Virtually any species of vegetable can be successfully grown in containers. We can add trellises as supports to our containers and easily grow tomatos, beans, pickling cucumbers etc. Combine flowering plants with vegetable plants and you will have the best of both worlds. Heirloom vegetable plants offer not only tried and true varieties but they themselves are beautiful plants in a container setting.
Consider your climage: Plants must be appropriate for the climate and environment. Check out the USDA Zone Map below to determine the appropriate zone for your area.
Container gardens are a very affordable way to express yourself. They can add one of a kind touches to your own little world.
Don't forget to check out our great Container Gardening Seminars in the Seminars for Success section of our website. Always remember to stop by the shop for the latest in container trends and recipes. Our professional staff will be happy to assist you with all of your questions.
Call Blooming Colors today at 334.821.7929 for your personal consultation with our specialists.