Gardening in flower pots, or more recently known as container gardening, has become increasing popular over the last few years. Many people are now living in smaller spaces as in townhouses or on smaller city lots where space is limited. As well, a potted flower garden adds great appeal around a small water structure or a pool area. Front doors, back decks, and bare spots in the garden can all be dressed up using container gardening.
Choosing a suitable container for your flowers is almost limitless. You can go out to any garden supply store and purchase any size, colour or theme that suits your fancy. Or you can use anything that will hold soil such as an old wheelbarrow, wash basin or bucket, half barrel or wooden box. You are only limited by your own imagination. Some of the more interesting and unique potted flowers are from recycled containers.
Flower pot gardens do require a certain amount of care, watering, fertilizing and trimming are all important to keep them looking their best. However, the chores of digging and weeding are almost eliminated. Keep in mind though that containers filled with soil are very heavy, even the smallest ones can surprise you. For anything larger than hand held sized pots, decide on their location and keep them there. Portable flower pots are great for quick fixes and instant beauty, so if you must move them be sure to use the appropriate tools to do so, save your back.
For best effect place your pots in groups, visually this is more effective than one lonely pot sitting by itself. The exception to this is very large pots or urns which can hold their own show. Try to protect them from strong winds which tend to make tatters of your beautiful blooms. For those large flower pots make sure you can bring your water source to the pot easily with a hose. Dragging watering cans of heavy water to the pots is not only tedious work but back breaking as well.
For successful plantings you need to fill your containers with good potting soil to start. As your plantings grow they will quickly use up the nutrients in their limited environment so regular fertilizing is a must. You can add slow release fertilizer at the time of planting which can last the whole season, or set up a program where you feed your pots a liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. Watering is probably the most important task. Flowering pots dry out very quickly, especially terra cotta types that have not been glazed.
You can grow just about anything in a container if it is a suitable size and placed in a suitable setting for the plants needs. Annuals, perennials, roses, herbs, vegetables and even trees can all be planted in containers. Each of these is another whole topic on their own. Try your own kitchen herbs!
In mild climates your flowering pots can remain outside all year. For northern gardeners dealing with frost in winter you will have to protect your containers. Some ceramic pots are actually classified frost free, make sure they are, and of course anything wooden or metal is safe. If possible move those in danger into the garage or other frosts free space for the winter. If the flower pot must stay outside and is now empty of plant material, stop watering it earlier so the dirt can dry out. Wrap the pot in something like bubble wrap or insulating foam and place a board over the top to keep rain and snow from melting into the dirt. This is not a guarantee but usually works. For large containers that must withstand the elements you are best to use pots of weather resistant materials. Better safe than sorry.
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