Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Care for your Container Garden

It’s summer and the heat has set in.  You want nothing more than to find a cool spot and sip on some iced tea.  But what about your container garden?  Are your plants surviving?  Or are they looking a little weary of the heat too?

The key is watering. Of course you all knew that.  Right?  But, the best time to water is NOT when the container is completely dried out and the flowers are wilting. The key is keeping a regular watering schedule.  Water the containers thoroughly.  As long as the pots have drainage holes, I’d say go ahead and over water.  This allows the soil time to soak up the extra water.  Often we sprinkle the pots and they look wet, but if you stick your finger into the soil you’ll find that less than an inch down can be dry as a bone.  This means the roots are not getting the moisture they need the water is running off or out of the pot.

Fertilize regularly.  I usually use a time released variety in the spring.  I mix it into the soil prior to putting any plants in the pot and don’t have to worry about it later.  But if you didn’t do this, feed your plants every 2 to 3 weeks. Seeing as how there are many fertilizers out there, take time to read the instructions on the back of the product for best results.

Clean them up.  Remove the old blooms and pinch back the leggy limbs. You will be rewarded with more blooms in a short amount of time. I will pinch back my plants several times in a season, it makes the plant put out more stems and you’ll have a thicker looking pot of flowers.

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