In mid-summer container gardens can start looking a little tired. With these four tips you can get your pots looking brand new again!
1. Water, Water, Water – Properly.
Watering is by far the most important care item for any container grown plant. Check the soil every day to determine if it feels dry. Depending on the size of your container, and the weather, your container may need watering once per day, twice per day or once every few days. In the heat of summer containers likely need watering at least once a day, more if your containers are small, in cooler months they may be able to go for a few days. Keep in mind wind, and even a light breeze, can make containers dry out faster. Terra cotta and coco-lined containers also dry out faster than other containers. Don’t depend on the rain – most of the time the water is just bouncing off the foliage and not reaching the soil underneath. Avoid giving a fast burst of water – water more slowly with a wand or nozzle, filling the pot to the edge and letting water run out through the bottom, more than once each time you water. This allows the soil to really absorb the water and not just run through the pot.
2. Plants Need Food Too!
Fertilizer is important for all plants but it is especially needed for container gardens. Because of the frequency of watering (and subsequent draining) nutrients are quickly expelled from the soil in containers. A slow release fertilizer is likely included in your potting soil but that will only last for up to 2 months. After that you will need to supplement with liquid fertilizer once per week for the remainder of the season to keep plants looking fresh and blooms plentiful.
3. Refresh & Replace
Fill in any dead or bare spots you might have with mature annuals sold in 6″ pots. These plants will provide instant gratification and continue to look great through summer and fall. We have a wide selection of top performing plants that thrive in summer heat and sun.
Some flowers are self cleaning but many need a little trim to encourage new flowers. Clipping back spent blooms will encourage plants to put energy into new blooms. Some plants can also outgrow their containers or take over their neighbors, pruning back will keep these plants in check to allow all plants to thrive. A light trim also encourages denser growth and prevents plants from getting “leggy”.
If you or your container need more help please feel free to ask our staff for plant suggestions. Or give our container gardening staff a call to schedule a drop off or pick up time and we can handle all the planting for you!