Three Easy Tips for Successful Container Gardening (The Gardener’s Rake)

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Three Easy Tips for Successful Container Gardening

Posted by Denise in container gardening,

Here are several useful tips for creating a hanging basket or container pot. I also use these techniques for my indoor container gardens and windowsill plants too.

Soil is always the key to a healthy plant. For containers and hanging baskets use an artificial soil composed mostly of peat moss.  Good soils such as Fafard or Pro-Mix use perlite, peat, and other ingredients to produce a soil that will not compact over the summer.  I also use homemade compost in my container plants. (It makes great compost tea.)

Real garden soil compacts and turns into concrete under the pressure of regular watering.  And when that happens the plant roots stop growing because they require good open spaces to move into and absorb nutrients. Hard, compacted soils do not grow good plants so do not use real soil in your containers. It’s also lighter than real soil.

Tip: I re-use my artificial potting soil from year to year.  I dump it out of the pot when the season is over or the plant needs re-potted. Break up the soil mix with a shovel to cut up all last year’s roots. Next add approximately 10 % of compost. The compost will create air spaces and gives plants a boost of nutrients.

Feed your plants regularly.  Nitrogen is needed by all plants and is used up quickly.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.