by Heather Reynolds

You can grow almost anything in a container type garden! Even a simple Rosemary plant that you can grab a piece of for a fresh seasoning for a family meal. Given the right size, a little drainage help, some sunshine, a little food, a little water or rain and you would be surprised of all the possibilities! Here are a few tips to make your space look like that magazine garden picture you liked!

How Big a Container?

Well that depends on your space but be sure to allow enough room for the plants your considering installing and plenty of good rich soil around them. This soil is what will retain all your moisture around your plants so don’t be stingy with it! It is always a good idea to also know the mature size of those plants to avoid overcrowding once they start to mature.

Don’t Forget about Drainage!

You will always want to have a few drainage holes at the bottom of your container or at a very minimum have a layer of gravel or now available they also make a plastic type insert that comes with pre drilled drainage holes built in so you don’t have to do the drilling!

What Kind of Dirt or Soil?

Stay away from all the types you would typically use in your flower beds or on your yard. All of those are generally much to dense. Instead try using a good brand of potting soil that contains a generous amount of Vermiculite or Pearlite and maybe even some Peat in it too. For extra large containers you will need a pretty thick chunky type style this will help you maintain your consistency all the way down to the bottom around the roots of your plants.

What Type of Plants?

Think about using plants that are not to aggressive, that like the same amounts of water, the also like the same sunlight exposure. When you water a container, they all get watered, planted together they all get the same light condition, if they share, the same growth rate one or two won’t dominate the entire container! Most container garden plants will go through a stretch of hot weather and sometimes can require daily watering. Give your plants a fighting chance and consider plants that may be classified as “drought tolerant” as these types can endure the heat much easier.

Container Size vs Plant Size?

Most container garden plants generally look best when they are in balance relative to the container size. You really don’t want your plants to be more that about half as wide as the container and never more than twice as tall as your container is.

Placement of your Container:

If possible, try not to place your container out in a wide-open space where it will receive full hottest midday sunshine. Even drought tolerant sun plants dry out much quicker than strategically placed morning sun and afternoon shade or even against a wall where part of the day your house will reflect some light indirect light on your container.

Watering your Container:

Unlike your landscaping that can grab sub surface water to survive longer container plants dry out much quicker and will likely need daily watering. In the middle of the hot summer maybe even twice a day, especially with smaller containers. Larger containers with more soil will maintain moisture longer.

Feeding your New Container Plants:

Depending on what type of potting soil you decide to purchase, some of them come with fertilizers mixed in with the soil and some do not. Container gardens need to have their nutrients replenished more often than regular landscaping plants in flower beds. A good time released one is generally the best to use every few weeks.

Always Keeping your Container Looking Great!

As the seasons change throughout the year, switch out a few of the plants as some tend to fade over time with fresh new annuals or perennials. You can do this pretty much all four seasons of the year to achieve a great looking container garden!

Question: Hi Jimmie, met you a few years ago while you were coaching youth basketball. Your team killed us by the way! I am looking for a suggestion for a privacy hedge recommendation that could help block the noise and view next to our house. We live on a corner lot and a busy road is near us. My irrigation barely reaches it so also need something that doesn’t require a ton of water. Will probably need about 15 or 20 of something. Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated! – Jesse L. in Celina

Answer: Hi Jesse, I remember you! Sorry on the basketball game; we try to make sure all the kids get to play and learn the game and have good sportsmanship. They have been together a long time and usually do pretty well. You guys have a great group as well! To your question, the best two options that fit the criteria you’re describing is either Nellie R Stevens Holly or Eastern Red Cedar. No right or wrong with either, just personal preference on which look you like. Both should do well for you friend.

Question: Jimmie, is it too late to put out pre-emergent, I have weeds everywhere?! Please help! – Tim L. in Celina

Answer: Hi Tim, if you have weeds everywhere, they have emerged already! You now need a post emergent! Depending on the type of weeds you have will dictate my advice to you. Send me some pictures and I will respond directly to you friend! Until next time…Happy Gardening!


Send your landscaping and gardening questions to Jimmie Gibson Jr. at http://www.absolutelybushedlandscaping.com or jimmie@absolutelybushed.com

Jimmie is a Prosper resident and the owner of Absolutely Bushed Landscaping Company, an award winning, family and veteran owned and operated business created in 1980 to provide the highest quality custom Outdoor Renovation available to homeowners in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.

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