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How to Grow Plants in Garden Planters

by Guest Post on Dec 13, 2011

Garden planters allow you to enjoy plants in areas where a traditional garden is awkward or impossible. In my tiny backyard, I grow nearly everything in containers, at least while the plant and I are deciding whether we like each other. Growing plants in planters allow you to provide the right conditions for different plants.

Practically any type of garden planter can be used to grow plants as long as it holds soil, can drain water, and is large enough for the plant you're growing. They are available in a wide range of materials and styles to match the style of the house, garden, or planting scheme. Take into account the mature size of the plants and their growing habits. Ideally, the pot should have a diameter equal to 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the plant.

Whatever kind of pot you choose, make sure there are drainage holes on the bottom of it so excess water can run out. Beware of decorative garden planters that lack drainage holes. You can put your plants in regular flower pots and place them inside decorative garden planters. You can place pieces of broken pot or scoria in the bottom of your pot around the drainage hole to ensure free drainage.

Pots can provide excellent drainage, but the plants depend on you for water and nutrients. Water serves as an important transport medium, allowing nutrients to travel from soil to plant cells. Caring for houseplants can be a delicate balance as plants can perish due to insufficient or excessive watering. Since plants in pots dry out faster than their counterparts in garden beds, they also use much more water. A good rule to follow in watering plants is to fill the entire root zone with water and then allow the soil to dry out partially before the next irrigation.

The most important factor when you are using garden planters for planting is to have a good planting medium. Most plants will adapt to the potting soils being sold today, so you should be alright with a quality store-bought potting soil. Any soil mix will become compacted over time, so If your containers seem water-logged and heavy, you may need to replace your soil mix with a fresh mix.

Repotting is required when the plant has outgrown its existing container, or the growing media has broken down. Plant roots grow most actively in the spring, which means the plant will be able to quickly overcome the shock associated with repotting. A day or two before you plan to re-pot, give your plants a thorough watering because they're easier to re-pot when the growing mix is moist. Many times this process causes more problems than it helps. An over-potted plant will focus on root growth at the expense of new foliage and flowers.

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