Container gardens work where a flower bed won’t

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 15, 2018

Be sure to water. Container plants can dry out in a matter of hours in extremely hot weather.

Container gardens are extremely popular, especially where traditional flower beds or vegetable plantings are not possible.
There are some maintenance requirements necessary for them to stand out in the landscape. Most floral planters are well established with annuals and perennials, but require a bit of continuous care.

Here are few simple maintenance chores needed for extended season growth and bloom.

• Check soil moisture often. Container plants can dry out in a matter of hours in extremely hot weather. Keep the soil moist but avoid over-watering. Check the planting media regularly.

• Fertilize the plants on a regular basis. Constant watering during the hot summer days leaches out nutrients much quicker than normal. Follow directions on the label closely and use a liquid fertilizer high in phosphorus (the middle number) to maintain and increase floral display.

• Prune the plants. Bedding plants and perennials in containers will overflow or get tall dominating a planter. Continuous pruning will keep flowing plant growth more upright and compact. Pruning also stimulates growth and increases flower production.

• Remove bad plants or diseased or dead leaves. Some plants may not adapt, wilt or just look bad. Take them out as soon as they start to decline and replace them as soon as possible for maximum affect.

• Don’t wait until frost has killed plants going into the fall to replace plants. Incorporate fall blooming annuals and perennials in your planters early in the season for maximum growth and floral affect.