The Q&A Archives: Tips on Planting Vines, Container Tomatoes, Windowbox Liatris

Question: I have a lot of vine seedlings I've started from seed (morning glories, black-eyed susans, firecracker vines, moon vines, etc.) If I want to grow some of them in containers (12") How many seedlings should I put in each container? If I'm planting them in the ground to cover a trellis or a fence, how far apart should they be? Also, how big of a pot do tomato plants need to be in in containers. I have patio tomoatoes and one other regular variety ( Better Girl', Early Girl'?). If I plantliatris tubers and windowbox dahlias now, when will they come up and when will they bloom? Thanks. Patricia Wright Willard, NC Zone 8

Answer: When planting in a container, I personally try to get a massed I tend to put plants closer together and more of them. In the case of vines, most of the plant will spill out of the container so I would plant probably 5 plants in a 12 inch pot.It also depends on the size of the leaf. Smaller leaves would mean more plants while larger leaves less plants. I think the same goes for in ground planting. One other thing to remember is that the closer you plant the more competition there is between plants for root space, water and fertilizer. So you have to make a you want a massed look and don't worry about competition or do you want specimen plants that have not had to compete. To be specific, plant them 6-12 inches apart of a massed look and 12 or more inches for specimen plants. Tomatoes need BIG containers. Dwarf ones need at least 1 gallon pots while standard tomatoes need 2-3 gallon pots! If you plant liatris and dahlias they would bloom mid-summer.

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