Planning 2015

Photo credit: Mississippi State University

Producing a beautiful combination container, such as this one, begins with selecting the appropriate potting mix. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)

Time arrives to plan 2015 container gardens

By Gary R. Bachman
MSU Horticulturist
Coastal Research & Extension Center

Many gardeners have their sights on the garden and landscape at the beginning of this new year. The mailman is fueling this garden interest with all the seed and plant catalogs being delivered. I spent a recent weekend looking through the 18 catalogs I already had and have ordered all of the seeds for this year’s vegetable garden.

One of the easiest gardening activities to plan for 2015 is setting up combination containers. The most important aspect of growing in containers is using the correct “soil,” which is not soil at all. In fact, there is no soil in the correct growing media. If the bag says “garden soil,” that really means it is good for in-ground plants. Growing plants in containers requires a totally different kind of mix.

Potting mixes for containers, such as this hanging basket, need to drain well and be light and airy. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)


For the best growth and flowering performance in containers, use a soilless, peat-based mix. Bagged mixes for container plants are often called potting or container mixes and contain no soil. They are found under a variety of trade names but are similar in their basic recipes. They are composed of organic components like peat moss, coir fiber or bark. Potting mixes for containers need to be light and airy and drain well. This is why container mixes also contain vermiculite and perlite, inorganic components that are produced by heating mica or pumice.

Read the full article: MSU

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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