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gardening

Container Gardening Like a Pro

Hey Friends!  So, one of my favorite things to do late Spring is to begin planting all of my annuals for the Summer. We planted so many perennials through the years that I don’t have a lot of room in my flower beds now for annuals, so I go a little (okay, a lot) crazy with container gardening.  Ha!  Our youngest daughter, Amanda bought her flowers the other day and I teased her about it and she said that she had to get hers done before we started on mine.  She referred to mine as “Team Too Much”!  Well, there you have it!  Truer words have probably never been spoken.

Here’s  a photo of our patio a couple of summers ago once everything had really taken off.

Container Gardening 3

Don’t worry if you are new to gardening, they didn’t start out like that at all.  If you are a pro at this, you can probably find flaws.  I don’t claim to be a pro, by any means.  I’m just someone who loves playing around with my flowers as a hobby and it’s a great stress reliever and it’s so nice to sit and relax with friends and family on the patio when it looks like this does.

Since we live in Ohio, I typically plant around Memorial Day to make sure we are beyond frost warnings.  Again, I’m no expert, but I have a little system and it’s working for me.  To keep the cost down and because of the sheer volume that I plant, I usually buy flats of flowers now.

Containers ~ I recommend you find containers you love and that they will drain properly.  If not, you will have serious challenges and the roots of your flowers/plants will not survive.  If they don’t have holes in them, you can drill holes in them.

Soil ~ Make sure you have good soil.  I’m sure there are better options out there, but my favorite is Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix.  I know some may prefer not to use it because of the chemicals in it, but I’ve not made the switch.  I love it!  The moisture control was a little challenging for me to get accustomed to because it had a bit of a different texture, but it is so much lighter and it works so well with my flowers and plants as you can tell.

Feed ~ I put a tiny bit of feed (sometimes Miracle-Gro or the one I get from my local nursery) in the soil as I am preparing to place the plant into the hole.  I make sure I don’t pack the dirt around them too tight, but give them support, and I also make sure I don’t mound the dirt up around the base or stem of the plant.   I allow the dirt that came on the plant to suffice in that area.  We always water them immediately after planting everything.

Then we feed them once a week most of the summer except in July, we try to feed them twice a week when we water them.  It’s easy.  Really.  There are containers you can pick up at Lowe’s or Home Depot that will attach to your hose that make this super simple.  Or, you can just use a watering can and add a little feed to your water.  Just don’t over do it.  Follow the directions or you can burn your beautiful flowers.

Planting ~ I try to always plant a Filler, Thriller, and Spiller in my pots.  What do I mean by that?  Well, I try to plant something that is going to really fill the pot aka “Filler”.   Then a “Thriller” is that really colorful plant that is going to just make you go wow as you sit and enjoy it.  And, then the “Spiller”….the one that is going to flow over the side of the pot.

Watering ~ We try to water our plants just a few times a week.  We really just play it by ear really.  We place a finger in the soil and if it feels moist, we pass.  If it feels dry, we water.  Pretty simple, huh?

Deadheading ~ Once a week, usually early Saturday or Sunday mornings, I go out and get my little scissors and gloves out of my rusty mailbox that was given to me by a dear friend, Donnie.  The mailbox was from his Grandma’s home and she had passed away and he decided to gift it to me.  Blessed.  I’ll cherish it.  Then I go around and cut the deadheads off of my flowers and plants.  This is a great way to keep them looking nice and it also helps them continue to grow strong and healthy.

Rusty Mailbox

 Donnie’s Grandma’s Mailbox

If you’ve not started your own container garden, I encourage you to start and to have fun with it.  Express yourself.  If you are an old hand at this and have tips for me, I’d love for you to share them.  I also love learning.

So, you may be wondering what does this post have to do with health.  I find this to be so therapeutic.  It is so fun to figure out what I want to plant.  I sat down with my oldest granddaughter a few weeks ago and we decided what to do this year. Then there’s the planting, caring for them, and watching them grow.  Then sitting, relaxing, and enjoying them. Love, love, love it!  We have some special memories sitting on that patio as a family.

Yours in health ~

Rene

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