Container gardening – the Gisborne Herald
Plants are grown in containers for many reasons. The growing number of people who live in apartments or housing units must, out of necessity, do their gardening on window sills or balconies. Even gardeners with plenty of outdoor space find potted plants to be very decorative, especially if grown in attractive containers. They can be used to soften and beautify large paved areas like patios and yards or can create focal points in the garden. One of the advantages of plants grown in containers is that they can be moved from one place to another, as long as the containers are not too heavy. This way you can give the plants a suitable microclimate or show them off when they are at their best. Here’s your guide to container gardening. . .
There are, of course, many other reasons why the popularity of this form of gardening is increasing. Garden centers now offer a much wider range of attractive planters, pots, troughs, hanging baskets, vertical garden kits and planters, and an even greater variety of plants to grow.
In addition, there are new effective potting mixes nowadays that significantly reduce the chances of failure, and plant breeders have developed plants that are more suitable for tank cultivation. However, the two remarkable advantages of container gardening are that they are portable and almost any plant can be grown in them – flowering annuals, bulbs, ferns, vines, herbs, shrubs, and trees. There are even compact forms of fruit plants specially selected for confined spaces.
Situation and breeding ground
To be a successful container gardener, you need to choose the right plant for your situation. Balconies are often windy, so anything you plant should be able to withstand the breezes. Sunshine is very important and will also influence your choice of plants. Sun-loving plants – which include vegetables – need at least four to five hours of sunlight per day to grow successfully, so check the amount of sun before spending money on plants that might not. not agree. The containers must have free drainage, otherwise your plants will drown. Most pots and tubs have one or more drainage holes 1 to 2 cm in diameter.
Ordinary garden soil is not suitable for container cultivation as it does not drain well and has a tendency to harden. Plant with potting soil as these are open, porous mixtures that have the added benefit of being free from weed seeds, soil pests, and plant diseases. For a premium potting mix, try Yates Premium potting mix. For plants that need a specialized growing medium, special potting mixes are also available, such as Yates Thrive Orchid potting soil and Yates Thrive Cacti & Succulent potting soil.
When repotting most plants, don’t be tempted to put a small plant in a large pot to save yourself some labor. Plants don’t thrive in containers that are too large – some even prefer to be overcrowded. It is best to move one plant to a slightly larger pot when the previous one fills with roots.
Watering and feeding
Whatever you decide to grow in your pots, remember that plants grown in containers have a restricted root system and cannot seek moisture like they would in an open garden. During hot summer days, daily watering may be necessary – perhaps twice a day if the plants are in full sun. Always water thoroughly and abundantly – not just a pinch. Use a water breaker or hose nozzle rather than a hose nozzle. A water breaker gently distributes a large volume of water over the soil and causes minimal disturbance. When potting, leave a margin between soil level and the edge of the container. When watering, slowly fill this space with water until it oozes out of the drainage holes. A mulch of grass clippings, compost, coarse gravel, pebbles or pine bark helps reduce evaporation and cools the soil surface. Good drainage and frequent watering can also mean a loss of nutrients for plants. Small amounts of regular fertilizer are needed to maintain plant growth.
Always apply fertilizer to moist soil to avoid burning young roots. A liquid fertilizer, such as Yates Thrive Natural Fish & Seaweed + Plant Food Concentrate, is suitable for regular liquid foods. Slow-acting fertilizers, like Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food or controlled-release fertilizers like the Yates Acticote range are also suitable for providing nutrients over a long period. Whatever fertilizer you choose, always use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Too much fertilizer for potted plants can be disastrous, especially if the mixture becomes dry.
Pests and diseases
Plants grown in containers are not immune to attacks from pests and diseases. Larvae, insects, burns and mold should always be protected against. A few plants on a balcony can often be kept away from caterpillars, snails and other leaf pests by picking them up by hand or spraying them with low-toxic insect sprays which are suitable for pest control. potted and indoor plants. Yates Nature’s Way Organic Citrus, Vegetable and Ornamental Spray Ready to Use is ideal for controlling most insects on edible and ornamental plants. A few Yates Blitzem Slug & Snail Pellets around the base of potted plants will help control snails and slugs.
Favorite shrubs for bathtubs
• Camellias and azaleas with year round foliage and exquisite blooms in season make excellent potted specimens. They do best in partial shade or filtered sunlight. They prefer an acidic potting mix, so proprietary mixtures that are marked as suitable for azaleas and camellias are the best choice for growing these plants successfully. Growing these acid-loving plants in containers is a good option if your garden soil is alkaline, which may well be the case in some districts.
• Hydrangeas are wonderful container plants for shady situations, although they appear rather bare in winter. They make a wonderful display of flowers in the summer and can be brought indoors during flowering. The color of the flowers depends on whether the mixture is acidic or alkaline – blue in acidic soil, pink in alkaline soil. If you want your hydrangeas to have a particular color, grow them in a pot and process the mixture accordingly.
• Fuchsias – and there are dozens of varieties – are reliable flowering shrubs for planters, pots, or hanging baskets in cool, temperate climates. White, pink, red and purple flowers are produced over a long period of time.
• Gardenias, with beautiful shiny leaves and waxy, white, fragrant flowers make good potted specimens. Gardenias prefer full to half sun in a warm, sheltered location. In the right position (especially in hot climates), some varieties of gardenias will bloom from spring to fall.
• Daphne is another neat evergreen shrub with deliciously fragrant pink, red or purple flowers in late winter and spring. Plants need good drainage and are often more reliable in a large pot or tub than in an open garden. They prefer morning sun but shade for the rest of the day.
• Geraniums will bring a splash of bright color to a sunny deck or patio. Grow them in containers, large pots or planters; with plenty of sun, they will bloom from early spring to late fall. Creeping varieties with ivy leaves are ideal for hanging baskets.
• Bougainvillea is another sun lover, especially for warm, northern climates, and dwarf varieties are now readily available. These are best for containers and make a beautiful, long-lasting display of flower bracts.
• Citrus fruits are both ornamental and useful plants for outdoor living spaces. Easy peelers like cumquats and limes are easy to grow in pots, but potted lemons, oranges, and tangerines may require pruning to keep them within limits. Choose citrus grafted on dwarf rootstocks.
• Japanese bamboo, also known as nandina, with its lacy foliage, makes a good potted plant and can be held in place by pruning. Real bamboo, which belongs to the grass family, gives a great vertical contrast effect, but only dwarf varieties up to 2-3 meters tall should be chosen.
Roses grow well in pots and pots and are easy to grow, although obviously miniature varieties and small floribundas will give the best results. They are not climate demanding and can withstand hot summers as well as freezing winters, as long as the container is not allowed to dry out.
Full-sized roses need a pot that is at least 50cm in diameter to allow the roots to develop properly. Fertilize with a slow-acting fertilizer, such as Yates Thrive Rose & Flower Granular Plant Food in early spring, when new growth begins, and again in early fall.
Your exposure will last longer if you continue to remove dead flower heads to encourage new bud formation. Do not allow rose hips (fruits) to develop as they drain energy from the plant and inhibit the growth of more flowers.
– Courtesy of Yates