here comes the growing season and a tip for big container plants

It feels good to be able to move your entertaining and lifestyle outside for the season. Reading while the kids splash in the pool or the sense of accomplishment (and tiredness!) you feel after a day in the garden are part of the activities of the warmer months.

The growing season is here and read on for some planting tips to make sure your flowers and vegetables are at their best during this growing season.

Two key elements of gardening is finding the balance between keeping plants and vegetables well watered and irrigated and knowing the soil you are working with. Take a clump of soil in your hand and feel the texture.

Does it feel light and airy or heavy? Now water the same soil and see if the soil gets clumped or if it drains well. You can take a sample to your local garden center and they will be happy to test your soil and guide you toward what you need to prepare your soil for optimum growing conditions.

Container gardening means you have control of the soil quality right from the start. Purchase a potting soil for your needs. Garden centers carry soil, for growing flowers and herbs, and a different mix for vegetables.

Growing flowers, vegetables and herbs in containers can be done anywhere such as an apartment terrace or a back deck or patio. First, thoroughly wash your pot inside and out with warm soapy water.

Even if you grew a healthy plant in the pot from the last growing season you want to make sure it is free of any residue. Make sure the pot you choose has drainage holes.

Take a stone or a piece of a broken flower pot and place over the drainage hole. This will keep soil from getting clogged at the site. (Broken pot? Save the pieces for this use. This is the gardener’s version of turning lemons into lemonade!)

What about filling big pots for planting? If you fill the whole pot with planting mix you run the risk of clogging the drainage area. It also makes for a very heavy pot that you won’t be able to move.

Instead of filling the pot entirely with the potting mix, crumple some pieces of newspaper in the lower third of the pot and add mix to fill the rest of the way up. This increases drainage, the newspaper will eventually break down naturally, and this method keeps the pot from becoming too heavy.

More garden ideas to follow in the coming days!


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