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Containerize Your Yard

A Gulley primer to container planting

Container gardening is a beautiful and easy way to animate your yard with color, fresh fragrances, leaf textures, sound effects, and fresh produce.

As more and more people move into condominiums, townhouses, duplexes and apartments, container gardening may be the only way to combat little to no yard space. Besides the aesthetic qualities, container gardens are also beneficial in cases where garden arrangements may need to be moved, and when irrigation is nonexistent or hard to use. Careful planning and landscape techniques can help you to create containers full of yearlong color to be placed in positions that capture or trick the eye.

Prior to buying containers or plants, consider where the pots can and should be placed.

Consider using sliding glass doors to expand small gardens into or out of the house. Take into account the purpose and location of each pot. Does a specific feature of the yard need to be framed by two containers in order to attract the eye? Are hard edges or ugly objects present in your yard that need to be hidden by lush green foliage? Container gardens serve a multitude of purposes. A container water garden can drown out traffic when placed next to a sitting area. Pots full of aromatic flowers and herbs can be used as a centerpiece on a patio set. With a little bit of planning you can shop for pots and plants with a purpose in mind.

While looking for pots to purchase, keep these tips in mind.

First, remember the location and purpose of each pot in your planning. Second, consider what plants are to be planted in which location. Third, think of the area surrounding your garden. Trends this summer are moving away from standard terracotta pots and moving into boldly colored, decorated pots. Decorated pots can enhance a garden theme, accent the flowers and foliage in the pot, and echo colors and textures in the surrounding landscape. The size of the pot is also essential to the location and the plants going into the pot. Generally, tall, thin containers add additional height to tall plants. Likewise, low-growing plants look better in short, squat containers. Remember to ensure all pots have drainage holes in their base. Pots without drainage holes can be used for container water gardens or you can drill holes in the base of each pot with an electric drill.

Once the pots have been chosen, begin searching for appropriate plants for each container.

Color, size, bloom times and light requirements should all be taken into consideration when purchasing plants. Container gardening does not have to exclude herbs, vegetables, tropical houseplants, perennials, or water plants. Use different plants with different shades of the same color to thread a common theme among your containers. Create pots full of prolific blooms by mixing perennials and herbs with annual color. If you desire unique foliage texture, integrate tropical houseplants, succulents and vegetables into your container gardens. Vining perennials can be used to add height to your garden by training them up a backdrop of lattice or a bamboo tripod. Be creative when choosing plants for your containers, Gulleys carries a wide variety of different plants in all shapes, sizes, and colors to suit your needs.

Water container gardens are yet another option to explore.

Water gardens are easy to create, and they are a relatively low maintenance way to add greenery, sound and color to your patio or garden. Gulley's offers an array of water plants and fountains. Purchase some goldfish to add a bit of wildlife to your yard.

Planting your containers is probably the easiest step of container gardening.

Keeping them in the pots you purchased them in, arrange all of the selected plants as they are to be planted in each container. When container gardening, do not follow the plant spacing directions on the label. In order to craft a full-looking container, plants must be planted tightly together. Once the desired look is achieved, fill one half of the container with a good potting soil like Fertilome Potting Mixture; a good potting soil is essential to ensure no bug eggs or fungus kill off your plants. Begin placing each plant in the pot starting with the tallest. Back-fill around the plants with dirt until the pot is full. Fertilize each pot with the Blooming and Rooting Fertilizer by Fertilome and water the pots thoroughly.

Once your containers are planted and placed in their desired locations, all you need is a bit of additional care throughout the season for a bounty of enjoyment.

Check all containers daily to assess their watering needs. Water each container only as need be, you do not want to waste water when it is not needed. Continually dead head your flowering plants throughout the season to promote new blooms. Additionally, as the season progresses, trim back leggy annuals and herbs to prevent dead undergrowth and to help new growth take form. In the excess idle time you now have after maintaining your container gardens, sit back on your patio or deck and enjoy your creations.

With some careful planning and landscape techniques, a beautiful yard, deck or patio can be produced.

Frame rose bushes with matching containers on pedestals, hide ugly pipes, hoses and rough edges with small pots full of flowers aligned or staggered, or drown out traffic with a fountain head in a water garden. Plant pots full of vegetable or herbs now, and move them inside over winter. Whatever your need for green and color may be, container gardens serve a wide array of purposes.

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