Container Garden Check Up

How are your container gardens fairing this summer? Are the plants thriving a bit TOO well, getting leggy and overgrown? Are they rotting a bit, suffering from all of the recent rain? Are the pots, baskets and boxes draining properly?Or are they becoming burnt and thin from too much heat and sun? Are they getting the right food, water and light? Now that summer is in full swing it might be time for a little TLC for your container gardens. First, be sure to dead head (remove the spent blooms) from blooming annuals to encourage continued flowering. Also, it never hurts to cut back aggressively growing plants; sweet potato vine is an excellent example.

In this photo, the sweet potato vine is beginning to spill out the front, and that is fine, but as it grows it can get too full and look like the ""Blob That Ate The Garden", instead of a lovely vine flowing through and out the planting. Go ahead and trim annuals as needed to make sure everyone in the pot gets some of that valuable sunlight and has room to grow. You want your container to look full, but still allow each plant to show off it's own particular beauty.

And, don't forget to fertilize your container plants. I like to use a water soluble food you mix with water and use it each time I water. Fertilizers are numbered, so look for something listed as 10-50-10 (or similar) as that type of balance will promote flowering, not green leaf growth. Feed your plants, give them regular trims and enjoy the beauty of your gardens!