Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Containers

Spring is nearly upon us, and if you do any container gardening now is the time to start prepping them for being used. You will want to clean out your containers and prep the soil so that it has plenty of nutrients for the plants that you are going to put into the container.

If you are using new containers this year you will want to check a few things before designating it for planting:
  • It must have enough drainage.
  • It must be pest free.
  • It must be disease free.
  • And it must be clean.
You will also want to be sure that your container is in good condition, this will ensure that it lasts longer, there is nothing more frustrating than being halfway through the growing season and having a container break, resulting in having to try to re-pot a plant while hoping that the trauma doesn't kill it. 

Whether you use planters, buckets, or a metal wash tub for your plants the following tips should be beneficial to you.

To Clean a Container: Used containers, whether they were used for planting or other things, need to be washed with a mild detergent. Check for damaged areas on your container while you are washing them. If these areas are easily fixed, then be sure to tend to them before putting your plants in them. Cracks in a container can give way to the pressure from a plant's roots, this will cause the container to break during the growing season. If you feel that a container is too damaged to be fixed you will want to discard of it and replace it with a new one.

Container Drainage: If a container does not have proper drainage then the plant growing in it will be in trouble. Excess water on a plants roots can cause a plant to become waterlogged, resulting in a sick or dead plant. The container that you use needs to have holes in the bottom for excess water to make an escape. If your container does not have holes, you can carefully drill some into it. To keep your holes from becoming clogged with dirt or debris add gravel to the bottom of the container. One to two inches should be sufficient.

If your plant is on a surface that needs to be protected from water, then you will want to have a drip tray beneath the container to catch the excess water that will come out.

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