MORE ON CONTAINERS
... BY GLADYS JEURINK
favorite was a vegetable garden! She could no longer get down to the
ground very well so her family had filled the barrow and placed it on
her patio. A spring salad was doing fine!! If you try this be sure there
are several holes in the bottom for drainage and then wheel it around to
where the plants do best.
of planters were “little red wagons” that had probably been
abandoned as the kids grew older. These are not as deep and will require more frequent watering
and smaller plants but they have the advantage of being easily moved to
sunny spots as the shadows moved. These
could be used to keep houseplants off the ground so their roots
couldn’t move into the soil or to keep the plants up high enough to
escape rabbits. Nebraska
gardeners have probably developed the best imaginations known anywhere.
collection are pictures of many beautiful little carts-probably made by
husbands who like to work with wood.
One was a pale pink with fancy wheels filled with dark pink and
white geraniums plus one or two vines hanging down.
Several of these I found on patios of people who lived in
apartments. One was a collection of coleus of every description-green
leaves, red ones, varied colors. These have the advantage that she can
take cuttings in the fall and take them in to keep her crop for the next
summer. Some of the carts had the plants in their pots with other pots
upside down to arrange the height.
Other were lined with plastic to save the wood and then planted.
The plastic had to have drain holes to prevent drowning.
The variety of
containers was amazing. One
was a toilet stool with the water tank on a fence behind and both were
growing very well with both upright and trailing plants. This was just
at the entrance gate and the start of an interesting garden. Trees,
shrubs, annuals, grasses, and perennials can all be planted in
containers. The only
trouble comes with winter and you have to decide what to save, what has
to be planted in garden and what will need to be replaced next spring.
I have seen
several chairs that were painted and the seat replaced with a large
bowl. One rather large one
held an “herb garden”. Old fashioned wash tubs worked well in many
places. They are big and
deep enough to support large plants that need root space.
Geraniums with trailing plants were the most popular.
Also they are sturdy enough to pick up and move.
that might be in the way ordinarily, were used to elevate pots in the
back of container gardens so that all the plants could be seen well. One
person used a tall stump with a ladder for clematis to grow up to the
top and then fluff over and hang down. In one yard I saw a row boat
lined up to cover a tall foundation and then planted as a raised bed.
Here are some
the rules of container planting:
The small the pot the more often it must be watered.
Clay pots are porous to they need more water than plastic ones.
Clay pots crack in the winter so need to be dumped and better
yet, put inside somewhere.
It is safer to empty all your pots rather than just re-use the
old potting mix. You can save the soil, mix it with compost, and then
Use good quality potting soil or a special container mix rather
than garden soil as it may contain diseases and also it dries into a
hard mass that pulls away from the side of the pot. Cheap potting mix is
usually no more than poor garden soil that has been packaged, so use
good a quality container mix. You get what you pay for.
You can make your own container mix with equal parts of peat
moss, perlite, vermiculite, and compost. This does not contain any
fertilizer so act accordingly.