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More Tips on Growing Plants in Containers

By Edited Jan 18, 2016 0 0

After discussing general tips on growing plants in containers and location of plants in containers, it's time to discuss watering and fertilizing of plants in containers.

Since growing in containers is a completely different culture than growing in the ground, do not use garden soil nor potting soil in a container. These heavy soils will not allow enough air to the roots of the plants in containers and may ultimately kill the plants. Instead, buy a soil less mix or make your own with wood chips, perlite, and peat moss. If planning to use organic fertilizer, it's fine to also add a bit of compost to the mix- no more than a sixth of the total mix, as compost can become quite heavy and thick.

Virtually any plant can be grown in a container, whether annuals or perennials. Annual plants are recommended for the novice gardener, as annual plants do not need to be overwintered. The best annual plants to grow in containers include petunias and pea vines. Many other plants are just as well-suited for container culture, and many seed companies and nurseries have developed plants specifically for container culture.

Be sure to check every day for dryness within the container. Do not allow soil to dry out during the growing season, especially during critical times for the plant (the seedling stage, the setting of fruit) as lack of water during these times can cause permanent damage to the plant. Check for dryness by inserting your pointer-finger into the soil less mix at the edge of the container. If dryness is found, water. If the mix is still damp, don't water. Typically during the months of July and August, vegetables grown in containers need to be watered every day.

Fertilizing containers is relatively easy. Organic fertilizers are easily available and free. Use a moderate amount of coffee grounds to add nitrogen to the soil less mix by simply adding some spent coffee grounds on top of the mix. Crush up egg shells and add the pieces to the top of the mix as well for added calcium and potash. If organic elements are present, use fish emulsion to add an extra boost to plants every few weeks. Follow package directions and mix well with water. Epsom salts and banana peels can also be added to containers for organic fertilizers.


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