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admin | Category: Container House | 22.08.2015
Unlimited possibilities for this box: blankets, clothing, a place to hide clutter or even a toy box. Containers are ideal for commitment-averse gardeners, the easiest way to energize your outdoor space whether you have a big yard, a small patio or balcony. New planters for spring are in stores now, and there's a wide variety of styles, colors and prices to suit your taste and budget.
One of the best perks of container planting is that you can control the soil a€” for once, you won't be fighting Florida's naturally sandy, porous and nematode-infested soil. Some potting mixes are formulated with time-release fertilizer pellets, but some experts caution against their use. InspirationSome of the best ideas come from Florida's theme parks such as Busch Gardens and Epcot, where millions of flowers are on display next month during the International Flower and Garden Festival. But most of us simply don't have the time for all that digging, planting, fertilizing and weeding, especially if the plants are annuals and need to be replaced in six months or less.
Besides the usual terra cotta, plastic, wood and ceramic pots, look for outrageously colored fiberglass, self-watering containers and eco-friendly planters made from natural materials.
Since you can't poke holes in ceramic, concrete, terra cotta or metal, use a slightly smaller plastic pot (with drainage holes) inside the container.
Use a high-quality potting mix that contains ingredients such as sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, aged composted forest products or sand.


If excess moisture formed in the bag, the fertilizer could break down and burn roots of new plants. Fill the container with the soil mixture, add plants and add remaining soil no higher than about 2 inches from the container's rim. If you don't have time for frequent watering, avoid unglazed terra cotta containers, which wick moisture from soil the fastest, and cheap plastic pots that hold heat and don't weather well in the Florida sun. This mixture will help the soil retain moisture, nutrients and oxygen that roots need to produce healthy stems, leaves and flowers.
Don't sink plants too deeply; they should be planted at the same depth as in their original pots.
Buy what you like, bearing in mind that the point of a plant is to grow and you don't want to crowd too many youngsters in the bed.
Early spring favorites include pansies, impatiens, snapdragons, petunias and bright yellow and orange Wonderland Citron, an alyssum that resembles a cabbage plant. You can also add water-retaining polymers to the soil; look for products such as Soil-Moist.
You can create a riot of texture and color with a blend of plants or a serene monochrome with a single type. Deep yellow marigolds, brilliant red salvia and geraniums in a variety of shades can weather warmer temperatures.


In shade, choose vibrant bloomers, such as impatiens for fall and winter and leafy caladiums in summer.
Throughout the year, add long-lasting color with ornamental bromeliads, hanging orchids and the succulent kalanchoe. Look for "Kalanchoe Calandiva," which produces multiple, rose-shaped flowers in shades of purple, pink, orange, red and white.Care and feeding Fertilize often. If you want really spectacular results, Joe Parr, horticulture project manager at Busch Gardens, recommends a half-strength solution of 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer every time you water containers.
Getting the goodsYou'll find outdoor planters at most garden centers, big-box retailers, home decor and discount stores. Don't forget your own closets or garage; all kinds of items can become outdoor planters with a little imagination.
For an even bigger selection of containers, there are numerous online suppliers, including Gardeners Supply Co. Usually they are too small for long-term survival so consider them a fleeting pleasure or repot in a larger planter.



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