Today the apprentices talked about container gardening. What type of pots you need, what type of soil is best, how to drill a hole in a ceramic pot and fertilizer.
Kathy talked about pots today. In Colorado it is so dry about the only time you can get away with a small pot is right about now. The rest of the year you need a larger pot so the soil doesn’t dry out so quickly. Also, plastic and ceramic pots hold water longer than terra-cotta pots. If you tend to over water then use a terra-cotta pot. For container gardening I like at least a 12″ pot. Some 8″ would be ok but a 12″ you can stuff a lot of plants in it and it looks gorgeous right away. Now is the time to get a larger pot and sink a small pot of tulips, daffodils, or hyacinths in it and put pansies around the edges. When the Spring flowers are finished you can just pull the pot out and insert something different in the hole with the pansies for a whole new look. Take the spent Spring flowers and plant them somewhere in your garden for next year.
Lisa talked about soil. If your soil has wood in it take it back to the store and ask for real soil. Soil should not have chunks of wood in it. It does nothing for the plants. It takes a long time for wood to decay and be beneficial to the soil and does nothing for container gardens. My favorite soil is Roots Greenfield. It’s awesome and wonderful. Another good one is Happy Frog. Whatever you find at your local store, just make sure it is not full of wood. Top soil is also not good soil. It does not have any nutrients in it. It’s just soil scraped off of the top of the ground so make sure you get a good container mix or potting soil.
Matt showed us how to drill a hole in a ceramic pot. Make sure when you try this that you have the right bit to drill through ceramics otherwise you may break or crack the pot. It’s important for the pot to drain so your plants don’t get root rot. If plant roots are sitting in water it will drown the plants. A pot that drains ensures that the roots are not saturated and can get the oxygen they need. Roots need to breathe just like humans so make sure your pot drains well. Another easy way to do this is to buy a pot with a hole in it already. Pots that don’t have holes are not intended to be planted in, so if you have to buy a new one just get one with a hole. If you see a great deal on pots without holes it might be worth it to buy them and drill them, otherwise……
Jerid talked about fertilizer. When you first plant your containers and want your plants to put on some growth and get bigger then you need to feed them a fertilizer that has a higher number of nitrogen. Nitrogen gets the green stuff to grow. When your plants are the size to bloom or have started blooming then start feeding them a fertilizer higher in phosphorus. I love Age Old products. I like Age Old Grow and Bloom. Grow has more nitrogen and Bloom has more phosphorus. Nitrogen is the first number of the three you’ll see on the bottle. Phosphorus is the second number of the three. There are other products on the market like Daniels and some others but I have had wonderful success with the Age Old products. I also have bees and the Age Old products are organic and safe for my bees. My personal preference is to try to stay away from fertilizers or soil that are time release. There’s no way for the fertilizer to know what your plant needs right now. It might cause it to grow when you’re trying to get it to bloom or vice versa. Also, they may have chemicals and I want to know my bees aren’t sucking up any chemicals. You should fertilize about every 7-10 days. If you pick a day during the week and always do it the same day you won’t forget.
Now, sit back and enjoy your containers. Before you know it you’ll be taking out the cool weather plants and replacing them with summer plants. Before you know it you’ll also need to start deadheading. That’s a subject we’ll get to soon in the next couple of weeks I’m sure.
Get out there and get gardening!!
To see this week’s segment please visit: http://www.9news.com/story/life/home-garden/proctors-tips/2014/04/10/container-gardening-proctor/7544995/