Even though there is still snow on the ground, one can still get ready for spring/summer
planting now. Gardeners can start preparing their containers/pots for spring planting.
Containers/pots are a great way to create splashes of colors in areas of the garden that
may not otherwise be able to have plants grow due to sun conditions, poor soil or are
situated on decks/patios.
Be ahead of the game by preparing your containers now to make spring tasks a little
less “busy” come planting time. One should never use a dirty container as there can be
harmful organisms that linger on the inside of the containers/pots, so clean your
containers/pots now. Wash out the inside of the containers/pots with warm soapy water
and if need be use a strong scrub brush to remove any excess old soil or roots stuck on
the inside of the containers/pots. Turn upside down to get extra water out and then dry
the inside out with paper towels or an old rag. If you are storing the containers/pots
outside make sure they are completely dry to avoid cracking. Once the weather warms
up enough, any temperature over the freezing mark during the day and no lower than -5
Celsius at night you can start adding your soil to the containers/pots. Use a good
quality soil as your plants will have to rely on the nutrients from this soil all growing
season and maybe a little help from some fertilizer throughout the season. Using soil
from your garden is much to “heavy” and ends up compacting as you water and thus
retains too much water which will affect your plants from growing properly.
Make sure your containers/pots have adequate drainage. Plants become waterlogged
if there is no drainage and the roots will rot, killing your plants. Make sure there is at
least one larger hole in the containers/pots and if necessary (and able) make more
Containers/pots require more water than plants that grow in garden beds, as they dry
out quicker, so providing suffcient water is necessary. Test your soil by sticking your
finger in the soil up to the second knuckle. If it is dry, water. If it is moist or wet, wait until
it is dryer.
One can use most any type of containers/pots for flowers. But once again make sure
there is adequate drainage. Old cans, old decorative pots/buckets even old cowboy
boots can be used, just make sure they have been washed and cleaned properly. If you
find a clay or glass pot that may work, you may not be able to drill drainage holes but
you can place washed rocks in the bottom (about 1-2 inches thick). Be careful of not
over watering, as the water will drain to the bottom and sit and will take the roots a
longer time to absorb the excess water.
Almost any plant will do well in containers/pots as long as you know what kind of care
the plants need. Combining multiple plants in the same containers/pots will require
similar watering, light and care needs (don’t plant shade loving plants with sun loving
plants or water loving plants with succulents).
Having different multiple plants in one container/pot will have an attractive appearance
for visual effect and add dimension to the container/pot. Combine a plant with height, a
plant that is bushy (something that will fill out over the growing season) and a plant that
“spills” over the edges. The container/pot may look sparse in the beginning but within a
few days/weeks everything will fill out and grow and fill the container/pot completely for
a look that others will be envious of.