garden for may 8, 2004
Our visitor in
the NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN today is Bertine Loop, a Master Gardener and
Instructor in horticulture at Southeast Community College. Bertine is
also co-host of “How’s it Growin” every Tuesday from noon to 1:00
p.m. on Radio Station KZUM, 89.3 FM
CONTAINERS FOR YOUR
Consider the purpose of your use, for example, focal point,
screening, color addition, camouflage, creating “rooms”, groupings,
etc. Remember backgrounds, colors that brighten or recede, importance of
Consider combinations, such as vegetables and flowers, perennials
and annuals, grasses and herbs for textural and height interest.
Place plants in natural height groupings, use stands, stage
colors by season or interest.
Remember the importance of sun, shade, wind.
Choose soil as carefully as the plants.
Consider pre-mixed soils with slow released fertilizers that are
specially made for containers.
Remember different containers “breathe” in different ways, or
not at all. Size,
materials, shape all make a difference.
Group plants with similar purpose and water needs together. Use
tags or other means to highlight a special need plant/container
Choose containers carefully.
Container composition, color, and placement will influence
Use “liner pots” to save wear and to change/replace easily.
Always line between the outside pot and the liner pot with mulch,
moss or compost.
Always mulch the top of the container, 1 inch to 2 inches. Never
spill over the sides as this will cause the water to wick out.
Be good to your back. Put
heavy pots on rollers and fill the bottom of containers with charcoal,
plastic peanuts, or light rock such as lava.
Turn the containers, or rotate the plants inside the liner pots
on a regular basis.
Utilize Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques to minimize
such as disease, insect damage, etc.
Containers are a good way to “capture” invasive plants and
show off their best qualities, e.g. scent in mints.
Drought tolerant perennials usually make great container plants.
Deadhead and cut back as usual for re-bloomers.
Start with the basics, expand into your own style and sense of
usage and design integration.
Containers have exposed sides, so they usually will need more supervision for
water and attention. Consider
adding prilled water
absorbers, such as Osmocote.
Because soil area is limited, use fertilizer sticks, fertilized
soils, or monitor closely for plant food every 1 to 2 weeks.
Do not set containers in saucers; put large containers on
“feet” that can be made of wood, clay bricks or stones to allow
containers to drain properly.
Space containers for open air flow, remembering the influence of
surface below, behind, and above the container.
21. If a container planting has wilted, pull into
cooler shade. Set into a bucket or tub of water over night to saturate
to re-hydrate root system. (I
pour ¼ solution of root transplant solution into water.)
In August, stop fertilizing, withdrawing water slowly. Plants that
remain in containers should get potassium fertilization.
Remove perennials, trees, and shrubs and plant into the garden or
24. Place empty containers, upside down, on
1x2” boards without touching
the sides of the pots next to them.
Wash containers with Borax
solution before storage and planting.
Cover glazed pots with tarp,
canvas, or other protection. (Bertine Loop)
information send a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to Lancaster
County Extension Office at 444 Cherrycreek Road, Lincoln, NE 68528-1507
and ask for NebGuide #G1363 (Container Gardening in Nebraska). NebGuides
week Gladys will share about her favorite container plants.