Container gardening is great when you have a small space and still enjoy gardening. If you have a sunny patio or deck it will be a perfect place for your plants to flourish. Fruit tree, berries, vegetables, shrubs and flowers can be planted in pots and planters according to their size. You can even start your container garden earlier than inground gardeners.
People sometimes prefer container and planter gardens when space is limited. They can be established weeks before inground planting can be done in colder parts of the country. The air may still be cool but if frost is predicted plants can be sheltered from the cold. If you are planting vegetables you can plant cool season crops such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, onions and broccoli.
Planters according to size are suitable for growing all the bramble berries, asparagus, and corn. You can also grow dwarf trees which bear full sized fruit, as well as shrubs and standard sized trees. For smaller planters dwarf fruit trees adapt well. Look for varieties that have the word “nana” or “compacta” after the botanical name. That means the plant won’t outgrow it’s container for many years, if ever. Standards do better in large containers where the roots can sprawl.
Succulents have small root structure and do well in a container with a fast draining mix. Flowering plants that flourish in containers are: butterfly bush, english primrose, marigolds, scarlet sage, snapdragon, sweet alyssum, petunia, pansy, globe candytuft, blue lavender, snow on the mountain, fern,annual phlox, bulbs, annuals, perennials and more.
Most berries, trees, and shrubs are offered for sale in a container or bare root. Some are wrapped in burlap. Bare roots are less expensive than pot grown plants and they adapt better. Most plants in containers will be root bound. If the roots have been bound too long they may have deteriorated beyond it’s potential. Loosen roots by prying them free and with a mat knife, score the root ball in four or five places making vertical slices with the blade. Plant and water, new roots will develop at the cut sites after planting.
When buying a plant covered with burlap, there’s no need to remove the burlap. Just set it in the ground and loosen the ties around the burlap and fold it back. Cover the roots with dirt, and water. To plant bare roots, remove the packing material and examine the roots for damage. If any are broken, damaged or discolored, snip them off with a sharp knife. Put the plant roots in a bucket of water and let them sit overnight before planting. Put a mound of soil in the container and place the plant into it. Cover halfway with soil, and water. Finish filling the container with soil and tamp down.
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