A container garden is a movable feast of perennials, annuals, herbs, and vegetables that can be used for patios, terraces, rooftops, doorsteps, under trees, and in places where in-ground flowers won't succeed. Although more versatile than plants in the ground, container plants do require more care. New products such as Soil Moist have extended the time period between waterings.
Annuals for Pots and Containers
- Use Linder's Prothrive Potting mix. Mix Sta-Green all purpose plant food fertilizer and Soil Moist in with the soil according to the directions on the labels.
- For beautiful flowers, use Linder's Prothrive Bloom Enhancer water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
- To reduce the weight of large containers, use Styrofoam peanuts to fill the bottom half of the container. Vermiculite will work also.
- When planting, it is easier if your plants are semi-dry. Before planting, loosen the soil around the root and then the plant. To create a full look, place plants close together.
- Look for complimentary colors for your pots. There are warm color gardens and cool color gardens. Warm colors are reds, oranges, yellow, and salmon. Cool colors include pinks, whites, blues, and purples.
- To create the most attractive space possible, use an assortment of pot sizes and shapes. Don't be afraid to mix and match your favorite pots and plants. Just keep in mind the colors you are choosing. Keep shade plants together and sun loving plants together.
- A small fountain amongst your plants creates a soothing sound and a beautiful accent to your patio or deck. Water gardening is very possible to do in small spaces.
Annuals are the most popular plants used in container gardening. Below are just a few that work well in containers. Linder's also carries proven winner annuals that tolerate much harsher conditions that many staple annuals.
Black Eyed Susan Vine
Perennials for Pots and Containers
Perennials are also beautiful in pots and containers. Be aware that they do not over winter well in Minnesota's climate. We suggest that you plant your perennials out of the containers and into the ground at least three weeks before the first frost in the fall. The following perennials work well in container gardens.
Black Eyed Susan
Cone Flower Echinacea
Coral Bells Heuchara
Herbs in Pots and Container Gardens
A single container planted with culinary herbs will yield a steady supply throughout the growing season. Most herbs love sun but will do well in partial shade as long as they receive approximately six hours or more of direct sun per day. They benefit from monthly applications of fertilizer. Mint should be planted in a separate container because of it's aggressive growing habit.
Combine the following in a pot: Thyme, Tarragon, Chives, Dwarf Dill, Dwarf Basil, Parsley, Marjoram, Sage, Prostrate Rosemary, Oregano, and Lemon Thyme.
- Grow herbs with geraniums for a beautiful effect.
- For early spring planting use a combination of annuals and herbs like Parsley or Calendula. Use a low, wide rounded container.
- A contrasting planting would include wool thyme and lavender. Many varieties are available.
- Scented Geraniums also make a great planting.
Many vegetables can also be grown in a pot but may need staking. Tomatoes look great with an under planting of marigolds. Experiment and have fun! You can continue to replace plants in containers throughout the season and renew colors as they fade or deteriorate.