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Growing Wisdom

Growing roses, herbs and perennials in containers

While it may be too cold where you live to begin planting just yet , you can start thinking about different container gardens for the spring. Container gardening is a terrific way to grow annuals, perennials and even small trees and shrubs in areas with limited space.
At my house some of the things I grow in containers are carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, herbs, roses, cannas and even summer blooming bulbs.

Years ago, container gardening was a much smaller piece what people grew outside. Folks would put in pansies in the spring, petunias, impatiens or geraniums in the summer and then plant mums in the fall. At some point people started thinking outside the box so to speak and really experiment with what would grow in an enclosed space.

There are basically a few tips to keep in mind when planting in containers.

1. Your container has a finite amount of nutrients, add fertilizer regularly (without overdoing it) in order to keep plants healthy. 2. The smaller the container the more frequently you’ll need to water. Clay pots can dry out very quickly. 3. Use soil appropriate for an enclosed space, but also designed for what you are growing. Heavy clay soils from the garden shouldn't be used when growing in plastic tubs. Use a good container mix; they tend to have good drainage. Some container mixes are better for flowers while others are created for vegetables. 4. Place your container in an area where it will get the right amount of light for whatever your planted. Shade plants shouldn’t be on the porch baking in the sun all day nor should sun loving plants be grown in the shade. 5. Plants grow quickly in the spring and summer. Watch how things change and move crowded plants into another container or into the ground if they seem overwhelmed by a larger plant.

In the video below I show you how to plant a container of mixed plants. Over the summer the herbs grew large enough and tall enough to grow above the rose bush which tended to spill over the container more. The other aspect of this video is we kept it organic. Since we were going to eat some of the plants from the container, I wanted to use organic material when I created it.

One of the centerpieces of the project was a flower carpet brand rose. I like using roses like these because they are disease resistant and therefore any need for chemicals is greatly diminished.

I like using plants that spill such as cucumbers and even peas (shorter varieties) around the edges of a container. If the plant is done producing I either replace it latter in the season or I just let the other plants fill in the space.

Try different things this year in your containers. Mix lettuce with roses or put a tomato plant surrounded by petunias or other hanging flower. A container is whatever you make and if you love it, its perfect.

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