I spend my mother’s day weekend buying and planting flowers because I love it and in my zone 6a part of the world it is usually safe to plant annuals outside. Still, I watch out for any nights that dip into the 30’s. If this happens I try to either cover them with tarps, plastic garbage bags or move them into the garage or my screened in porch.
I love shopping for flowers; don’t we all. I try to make a list of the containers that I want to fill and mark them as mostly sun or shade. At the nursery, I walk around and fill up my cart, and check off the containers as I choose enough plants for each. I have my standard favorites, but every year I usually end up with a few new ones that I just have to buy.
Beside choosing plants for the correct sun exposure I usually think, thriller, filler and spiller, or tall and spiky, medium and bushy and short and trailing. For smaller pots, I will sometimes use only two plants with one trailing and the other either a thriller or a spiller. Often, a smaller beautiful pot will just have one spectacular specimen.
Other Container Planting Tips
Use Filler In Your Pots
Fill bottom of your pots with old nursery cell packs, or slightly crushed aluminum cans to lighten the load and save on soil. This is especially true for nursery annual flowers that will only last a few months.
Pack Them In
A similar school-of-thought, annuals will only be around for four months or so they can afford to be crowded and will create abundant beauties similar to the ones created in floral shops and in magazines.
This means making sure water is coming out the bottom of the pot before you stop. I water every third day unless there is rain. Some of you may need to water more, depending on your climate and the type and size of pot you use. Terra cotta while gorgeous, dries out very quickly, and smaller pots sometimes require extra watering.
Save Your Tags
Take photos of your final creations. You’ll be happy that you did next year, especially if you found a particularly good combination.
Even though I have bought potting soil with slow release fertilizer, I still like to give the pot a drink of the “blue stuff” once every few weeks.
Instead of spending money on new pots try re-purposing something you already have around the house. Anything that holds water and has drainage holes will work. I’ve seen people plant in old chairs, tree stumps, boots and antique colanders.
I hope some, or all of these tips inspire you to create beautiful floral containers that you can admire all season.
Have any other suggestions? I’m always in the market for a good garden tip.