mercredi 17 mars 2010

Growing in containers Part 1

Just about any plant may be grown in a container throughout it's entire life.

Growing your plants in containers provides you with a few options that are not possible with plantings in the ground:

1. The ability to move the containers around is perhaps the biggest advantage. As the seasons and the sun's position changes, you can move your plant to a sunnier or shady spot to fit the needs of the plant. You will also be able to move plants into the 'limelight' when they come into bloom, or into the background somewhere when they are finished.
2. You will be able to grow acid loving plants in an area of alkaline soil and vice versa.

Remember though, that when you are growing plants in pots or planters, those plants are much more dependent on you to provide their growing needs. They are in a limited amount of soil, with their roots restricted, and exposed to the elements far more than if they were garden grown. It is important for the plant's health that pay close attention to watering and feeding requirements of the plant.

Plants in containers will dry out much sooner and need watering more often. To determine when the plant needs watering, stick your finger down into the soil and if is dry water the plant thoroughly. Because frequent watering will wash the plant food out of the soil, and the plant will utilize the limited soil nutrients they will be depleted much more rapidly, so a regular feeding program should be established according to the type of plant. During the growing season, either a slow release type plant food should be used or a soluble complete fertilizer should be used every two weeks. ALWAYS follow the manufacturers recommendations.

Here's a little composition I planted in October, that's beginning to look nice. Three garden canes in a pyramid held together with twine in a cheap IKEA terracotta pot, a nice ivy planted in the middle and crocus bulbs in one colour planted all around. The ivy hasn't had a chance to grow yet but soon it will be wrapping itself around the canes and making a pretty all year round green pyramid. I'll be planting some small summer bulbs soon so that there will be colour all year round. I display it in the front garden.

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