Guide: Container Gardening Tips and Ideas
Now that it’s finally May and the weather is (mostly) cooperative, it’s time to start thinking about your containers. Start planning where you want your containers as well as the exposure they’ll get in those areas. Do they get morning sun and afternoon shade? Or do they get full sun mostly all day long? Exposure really determines what will thrive in the containers and what won’t do so well. For example, petunias, salvia, and geraniums all do well in direct sun; if planted in the shade, they might not bloom, which is the main attraction for all of those plants. Others like tuberose begonias, lobelia, and fuchsia all prefer some shade during the day, so an area with morning sun and afternoon shade is perfect for them.
Once you’ve determined where your containers are going to go, figure out what’s going to go in them! You can always come ask our experts for advice on what to plant, and we’ll show you our favorites based on color and performance. We’ve also compiled some of our favorite container combinations from Proven Winners, the leading plant brand. These containers are all using annuals you can find right here at Nunan’s.
Container Gardening Tips
- When planting your containers, make sure you’re using fresh potting soil (unless the container is too large to remove all of the soil, in which case, just be sure to add in fresh new potting soil).
- Mix in a general plant fertilizer like Miracle Gro or Miracle Gro Bloom Booster with the soil. It will disperse into the soil and will leech out nutrients for the fresh roots.
- Plant your desired plants as you see fit. Trailing annuals like petunias and alyssum do best when they can trail over the edge of the pot, so be sure to place these along the outside. Thrillers are taller plants that add height to the container; plant these in the back of the container or in the center. See Grand Traverse and One in a Million above.
- Water thoroughly once planting is finished.
- Fertilize regularly. Plants in containers and hanging baskets tend to eat up more fertilizer at a faster rate than those in the ground. Every time you water, fertilizer leeches out, so it’s essential for the performance of your plants to maintain a regular feeding schedule. Miracle Gro liquid fertilizer will suffice for containers and hangers.
- Keep up with watering. In the heat of the summer, the plants at Nunan’s are watered twice, sometimes even three times, a day. But remember, under-watering is an easier fix than over-watering!