Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Potting Soils for Container Gardens

Whether you’re an apartment dweller with a balcony or a homeowner with a deck, it’s the time of year to begin thinking about planting a container garden to enjoy all summer.

If you enjoy flowers, you might be thinking sun or shade annuals, now available in riotous abundance at the local garden centers. If you like fresh veggies, maybe try some of the dwarf-growing tomatoes or cukes with full sized fruit and plant them in a large tub. If you are a good cook, a container filled with growing herbs is an attractive and useful addition to any outdoor living area.

The larger the container, the easier it is to care for. Plants growing in a larger volume of potting will stay moist and cool longer, contributing to better plant health. Choose a container that suits your architecture and taste, but be sure it is at least 14 inches in diameter and has a drainage hole at the bottom.

What type of potting soil should you choose?

Pick the one with a slow release fertilizer already added to the mix; some last for six months, which will be perfect to last through the summer. Other potting soils have “water grabber” additives that reduce the need for watering up to 75%. A non-toxic polymer plumps up when first watered and slowly releases the moisture to the plants. And some soil-less potting mixes have both.

If in doubt, ask Crabapple LandscapExperts for info on how to set up container gardens, or for a few tips on what plants to choose.

Tomato container photo courtesy 

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