Caring for your container-grown plants is not different from caring for those grown in the garden bed. However, container plants do need extra care. When you want your planters to look their best at all times, follow these tips.
As potting soil dries quicker than garden soil, container-grown trees and shrubs must be watered frequently. During the hot summer months, you might have to water once or even twice a day.
If you let the vegetables go dry even once, you might spoil the harvest. Stick a finger in the soil to check if the top few winches are moist. If they are really dry, it’s time to water.
Fast-growing plants need nutrients in plenty. Moreover, when you frequently water container plants, the nutrients are leached from the soil. Be sure to fertilise the plants every two weeks.
Mix slow-release fertiliser pellets in the soil. Water-soluble or liquid fertilisers are the easiest to use and take nutrients all the way to the roots of plants.
Remove Dead Flowers
Pruning leggy stems and removing damaged and off-coloured foliage will make sure the plants look full and lush at all times. A lot of plants continue to produce new blooms when you remove the dead flowers before they set seeds. Be sure to pinch the stems back to a bud or leaf.
Look for Pests
Generally speaking, container plants won’t experience many pest problems because they are isolated from other plants. However, if you do see a pest problem, be sure to deal with it quickly to ensure the entire crop isn’t wiped out.
Weeds can sneak into container plants too. Even a few weeds can leach vital nutrients and moisture off your plants. Be sure to pull weeds as soon as you see them and ensure you remove them from the root. Be sure to add mulch after weeding; it keeps moisture in and any new weeds out.
Sunny Side Up
Container plants require lots of sunshine to grow. If your plants are sun-starved, they may leggy or slow-growing. On the other hand, if they are sunburned, they look bleached, dry or wilted.
Watch when and where the sun shines on your property and reposition the containers based on the level of sun exposure they need.
Cool-weather plants such as spinach and lettuce need about 3 to 5 hours of sunlight daily. Warm-weather plants like peppers, tomatoes and petunias need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day.