Common Questions: Advice for new gardeners about planters.

by lowes on May 27, 2011

Q. Do you have any tips for a first time gardener of potted outdoor plants?
A. Outdoor planters (also called container gardens) are a great alternative to traditional in ground or “flower bed” planting. There are a few key things to keep in mind when planting in containers. 1. Make sure the container you choose has good drainage. If it doesn’t, get out the drill with an appropriate bit and create your own. 2. Plants in containers may require more frequent watering than plants planted in flower beds because of the limited soil volume. This can be avoided by using a product called SoilMoist (a jelly like crystal that absorbs and re-releases water) can be mixed directly in the soil, or lower water requirement plants like succulents can be planted instead of traditional annuals. 3. Fertilizer is crucial because most of the new varieties for container gardens are super vigorous fast growing plants. Because of the rapid grown, the eat all the nutrients out of containers fast. We always recommend using a time release fertilizer like Osmocote or MiracleGro Shake-N-Feed at the time of planting, then again as per the package directions during the summer.

Many people like a very traditional planter style with a combination like a spike in the center for height, a few geraniums and petunias in the middle and a border of something trailing like alyssum or moss roses. These are beautiful and can be lovely in the right setting, but there are so many new varieties to choose from. Some our favorite new introdcutions are: Sun coleus, ipomea or potatoe vine, heliotrope, and calibrichoa or million bells.

Lowe’s Garden Center also offers our expert container gardening service. Bring in your planters and we will plant them to order and can have them ready for pick up or delivery. The container gardening department can be reached for more information by calling the Lowe’s Floral Hotline at 701/839-2000

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