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Patio Beautification- 5 Tips to Long Lasting Container Pots

potted plant tipsIt’s that time of year when enjoying your outdoor patio is enhanced by beautiful container pots.  Here are six important tips from Contemporary Gardens that will ensure your pots are healthy and will last long into fall.

  1. Get creative.  There is a design axiom for large containers of “Thrill, Fill and Spill”, which covers a tall plant in the center and then you add fill plants in the middle and cascading plants around the edge.  Pick pots from all sizes to create visual vignettes on your patio; and don’t shy away from adding more than flowers…herbs, climbing ivy and even small vegetable plants are great additions to your pots.
  2. Drainage is key.  Proper drainage is critical to container pot success and is the number one reason that container plants die.  Make sure your pots have drainage holes and that you place screen wire (even a coffee filter will work) over the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot or container to prevent loss of soil.  Last, make sure there is room for the water to drain out.
  3. Potting soil matters. Use prepared potting soil, rather than dirt from your yard, to ensure the soil is free from disease and insect pests.
  4. Plant like a pro.  When taking your plants out of the nursery containers, be careful not to pull up directly as the plants may break and die.  You want to push the plant up from the bottom so you can grab the roots.  If the roots are circled around the bottom of the plant, break the roots away so they can keep growing directly out inside your pot.  Then plant your plants at the same depth they were originally planted at in their nursery container.
  5. Don’t forget to fertilize and water.  Last, apply a time release fertilizer on top of the soil to keep plants healthy all-season long and make sure they get plenty of water, especially if they are in direct sunlight.  To test soil dryness, stick your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If your fingertip feels dry, it’s time to water.
  6. The final touch. Dress the dirt with pine bark mini nuggets which will give your pot a finishing touch and this will also keep the soil moist when it’s hot and prevents the soil from washing out in heavy rain.