Friday, February 27, 2009

Cool Season Containers

If you think container gardening is just for the spring and summer, think again.  Cool season container gardening is just as fun.  You can achieve the same level of beauty and variety as in the warmer weather. 

cool season containersChoose a container large enough to accommodate several plants, one equipped with the necessary drainage.  If the planter you like doesn't have drainage, you can most always drill it yourself, with a household electric drill.  Use a lightweight container instead of the traditional terra-cotta or stone for winter gardening.  A good lightweight planter will not be made of foam.  It will have UV inhibitors, and usually a warranty.  Some will offer as much as a ten year warranty against fading, cracking, etc, in any US climate.  They will require a little more of an initial investment, but if you are planning on long term usage, that is certainly the way to go. 

Select a potting mix that includes controlled release fertilizer, or add it to the mix yourself.  You can cool season containers2supplement with an additional water soluble fertilizer every few weeks or so.  Just remember to read the instructions before you use. 

In selecting plants, use the 'thriller-spiller-filler' approach.  The thriller will be your stunning center piece.  The spiller will waterfall over the edge of the pot, and the filler is for everything in between.  Be sure to choose plants that grown in a common moisture range. 

Don't forget water needs.  You do not have to water daily, like in the summer, but supplemental irrigation will be required, depending on the plants' needs.  

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