It’s now time to think about planting your pots, window boxes and hanging baskets.There are a number of key factors to consider before racing off to the garden centre. What location will the plants be living in? Are they in morning sun until noon or are they in the afternoon sun from noon until sundown? There’s a huge difference. The morning sun is not as strong as the afternoon sun, so if you are getting sun until noon, consider shade plants. If you have hot afternoon sun, select full sun plants.
You can virtually grow anything you want in a pot, window box or hanging basket. If you choose trees and shrubs and perennials for your containers, keep in mind its difficult to overwinter in a pot so it’s best to transfer that plant into the garden around Oct 15th.
Soil is very important for your pots and containers. Choose a good quality peat moss-based potting soil. Usually these also contain vermiculite and perlite for water retention and good drainage. The reason why you need to choose good quality soil is simple. The plants have a tiny fine root system and require a very light soil to grow and mature. Also, a light soil does not add unnecessary weight to your hanging baskets and window boxes.
Fertilizer is crucial. How many times a week do you water? Three times, four times or daily? Every time you water, you flush nutrients out of your pots. So if you do not feed your plants regularly, they will begin to starve showing signs of stress and weakness.
I push my plants to the max. I use a 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer (meaning blue powder mixed in water) and pelletized slow release which is a 14-14-14. Now when feeding it is imperative to always water first and then mix your 20-20-20 with water according to the instructions. Then you can feed. If you fertilize your plants when they are dry, you can burn them. A plant with remoistened roots will always accept the food much much better.
Once I plant my pots, I sprinkle the slow-release fertilizer in and around the plants on top of the soil. Once a week, I mix my water-soluble fertilizer and feed as well. The results are amazing.
Watering is crucial. Always use a watering wand with a nice soft shower head. Water at the base of your plants and never water the leaves or flowers as this can create mould and mildew. A nice slow steady water will help guarantee success. It is best to water in the morning or late evening.
Best of luck with your containers, window boxes and hanging baskets and get creative. Head down to Farmer Browns Greenhouse as they have amazing quality and unique plants. Visit my FaceBook Page ‘The Green Guy’ for more inspiration
Cheers, Micheal McBurnie
The Garden Guy