Potscaping: Container Garden Tips

Worth It To Get Potty

  • Mobility: Move ’em around. By hand, or with a plant dolly (circular stand with wheels) that lets you move even huge pots.
  • Gardeners with mostly shade can catch available sun by placing pots in sunny areas like lane ways, driveways, where there may be no soil for in-ground planting. Moving pots around during the day to follow the sun’s path can make growing edibles possible for some without full sun.
  • Add jolts of colour. Pots come in vibrant colours, whether they are bamboo or ceramic. You can never go wrong with a blue ceramic pot.
  • Seasonal plantings. Plant differently in spring, summer, fall and winter. You’ll never be bored.



Bamboo pots in rainbow colours.

Tips for Success

  • Save a plant’s life, water religiously even if the weather person promises it’s going to rain later. Chances are it won’t.
  • Make sure the water fully soaks the entire root ball, make sure water comes out the bottom. Leave a one or two inch space at the top of the pot for water to collect when irrigating.You can’t properly water a plant when the soil is packed to the rim
  • A layer of pine or cocoa bean mulch on top of soil keeps roots cool and conserves water. If you’ve (eek!) left a pot out to dry almost to the point of death, fill a bucket with water and submerge the pot fully. Let the bubbles rise to the top until no more come up. Then place the pot in the shade to recover.
  • Perennial plants can be used in pots as well as annuals. Try hostas, hydrangeas, succulents. In fall, plant the perennials in the garden.
  • Use a rich soil mix with organic matter. Beware, some bags labelled ‘potting soil’ are dry and dusty and pack down, leaving no all-important air pockets. A mix with organic matter and drainage material (coarse sand, vermiculite or perlite) allows plant roots to get the water and the air they need for best health.
  • For metal pots in hot, sunny spots, line with styrofoam or bubble wrap to keep roots cool.
  • To make an easy self-watering planter, buy a planter with no drainage hole. Drill holes yourself, but not on the bottom. Make a few holes about two inches up from the ground and you’ll have a water reservoir. You can add gravel, or rocks on the bottom, or just fill whole planter with well-drained soil.
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