Mother’s Day is this Sunday and it is traditional in central Ohio for this to be the “go” date for planting annual flowers. Supposedly, we are NOT going to get any frost past the second Saturday in May. And while we certainly enjoy the gorgeous hanging planters that line State Street in Uptown Westerville, container gardening can be a simple, space-efficient option for anyone looking to enjoy some seasonal blooms.
A few basic tips to get started:
Containers: It’s always easier to grow plants in larger containers; larger size pots need more soil, more soil holds on to moisture better—additionally, bigger containers are far more resistant to temperature fluctuations throughout the season. Every container must have drainage holes for water to escape.
Getting ready to plant: It’s a good idea to line to bottom of your pot with newspaper or paper towels, to keep soil from escaping through the drainage holes. Add potting soil or a soilless planting mixture (make sure not to fill the container too full of soil, so you have ample room for watering) to the pot and then flood the soil, let it drain and stir. This will ensure that all the soil is moist throughout and ready to accept the plantings.
Plants: A good guideline is to use 5-6 plants per 18-24 inch pot. Almost any plant, tree or shrub will grow in a container, but Organic Gardening recommends choosing,” “a thriller, a spiller, and a filler” to produce the most stunning displays. A thriller or focal point plant could be a coleus or geranium; add a plant that will spill over the edges of the pot such as petunias or creeping zinnias; finally, fill in with small plants that will add color and fill the container for the whole season—examples of good “fillers” include salvias, verbenas and begonias.
Care and Maintenance: To keep containers thriving, regular and continuous watering is a necessity. For optimum results, fertilize every 2-3 weeks and take time to prune and deadhead the plants as needed. If one plant is not thriving in the container, remove it and try something else, or let the other plants grow into the space.
From our home to yours,