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Container Gardening on the Patio or Deck


Liven up a deck or patio with plants in containers. Use them to grow vegetables and salad greens or create focal points or privacy screens by planting them with bright colored flowers combined with cool green foliage. Attaching containers to the rail of a deck keeps them at a convenient waist height too.

Container plantings on the patio or deck create a smooth transition between the house and the yard. They turn the deck or patio into an outdoor room - a space that is neither wholly house or wholly garden.

There is a wide variety of containers to choose from, but carefully select ones with good drainage. Match final plant size to the depth of the container. Short shallow containers look better with shallow rooted sprawling or low growing plants. Taller plants with deep roots need deeper containers. If the container is large enough, plant tall blooming plants in the middle and toward the back and lower growing blooming plants in front. Finish it off with a trailing bloomer like nasturtiums. This will give a larger container added interest and varying heights of blooms.

Use lightweight potting mix to prevent the container from being too heavy to move around.

Water and fertilizer are key for container gardens. Plants in containers dry out much faster than those planted in the ground. Fertilize when the plant is first placed in the container and again once a week with half-strength fertilizer. Water containers every day and utilize this time to check them over and give them any other attention they may need to keep them looking their best. If watering every day is impossible, invest in a self watering microtube system. Just place a tube into each container, poke holes in the tubes where you want the water to come out, attach it to your outside spigot and set the timer. It's a garden that waters itself! Your Southern States dealer has everything you need to get set up.

Place containers under hanging baskets and pots to extend the varying height of blooms and to let the containers benefit from the water and fertilizer runoff from the plants above.

Choose plants for the containers with the same light requirements, keep in mind where the pot will eventually be located also. For the best success, plant sun lovers together and place the pot in a sunny location - the same for a shady place.

Group containers together for a big impact. Containers planted with a single color provide lots of punch. This can be advantageous when trying to hide an eyesore like an electric meter, gas meter, or air conditioner. Just set a container of bright red geraniums or magenta petunias in front of the offending mechanism and folks will see only the flowers.


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