Seems that spring cleaning and container gardening are a match made in heaven.
What’s not to love about saving money while adding a personalized WOW factor to your outside decor this season. So often we have memories stored in that discarded item in the garage. An article too good to toss but too well used to function efficiently in the manner for which it was originally designed. So with a little imagination I challenge you to create an original work of art with an assortment of living colour and texture in your recycled containers. Here’s a few ideas to jumpstart your creativity that you may not even have known you possessed!! Don’t forget, after selecting your junk turned treasure, prepare for success by following the ensuing guidelines:
1) Drainage holes are crucial. Plants don’t like sitting in water and getting wet feet however it’s also important the drainage hole isn’t so large that the water rushes through and doesn’t get a chance to moisten the soil media. Ideally small holes punctured in the bottom of the container with bits of gravel placed on top so the soil doesn’t clog the holes should suffice. 2) Do not use only garden top soil which is heavy and non-porous, great for veggies in the garden but limited in providing adequate air and nutrients in your container. Choose a good quality potting soil which may contain either perlite or vermiculite and peat moss. Then if possible add a little good quality garden soil and compost to give your potting soil some body and added nutrients. 3) Good chance you have heard the phrase ‘Thriller(tall plant for a focal point), Filler(medium sized upright plant for bulk),Spiller(trailing edge plant)’ when it comes to creating a successful container garden. It definitely will give good structure to your planter but do not be limited by this adage. Your preferences should be your guide so when you go to purchase plants for your container don’t hesitate to read labels and question the salesperson concerning the requirements of your selections. Sun, shade, height at maturity, water requirements…these are things to keep in mind when you mix and match your choices. 4) Remember to give each plant a little room to grow. Your planter should be pleasing to your eye after your initial planting but a little dirt showing is not a bad thing, you have a few months of growth ahead of you. 5) Container plants need nutrients on a regular basis. Better a little plant food each week
than ‘binge feeding’. Sounds like good diet advice right? And whatever you do, don’t overwater. That generally won’t be a problem when your planter is established with a good root system. A good rule is to water well until the water seeps from the bottom of the container and the planter feels heavy. Then leave the planter until it is dry. Test by touching an inch plus down from the top and if the planter feels light, time for another good drink preferably with added nutrients. Lastly, let no one mock the result of your poetic genius! Satisfactory gardening is about pleasing yourself…your choice of colour, your choice of texture, your choice of fragrance. How well it flourishes will depend on how you have anticipated your plants growth habits, needs and the continued care you invest in the following weeks. After all it is living art. And remember whether this is a first time experiment or you have had years of practice growing there is always something to be learned and next year there will always be another recycling challenge!!